Worlds could be in Oz
Last September in Brazil, the defencejobs Opals became the world champions of women’s basketball. Next time they might not have to travel so far.
Australia is one of four nations interested in hosting the 2010 world championship for women, the world governing body of basketball, FIBA, announced over the weekend.
The interest was aired at a meeting of the Central Board of FIBA in Madrid, one day after the official inauguration of the FIBA Hall of Fame in Alcobendas, Spain.
The Czech Republic, France and Latvia are also interested in hosting the event.
The federations have until June 15th to officially confirm their interest, while a final decision regarding the organizer of the event will be taken by the FIBA Central Board at its next meeting in December, in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Further work needs to be done to establish exactly how we will advance our bid, but at this point we are certainly interested,” Basketball Australia Chief Executive Scott Derwin said.
"A bid will only be possible with strong support from the Government," he added.
A $1.32 million advance would have to be paid to FIBA to cover media, marketing and sponsorship rights, and then Basketball Australia would have to raise funds to cover the actual costs of running the tournament.
Australia has hosted the world championship for women once previously, when in 1994 an Opals team that featured Michele Timms, Robyn Maher and Karen Dalton finished fourth.
Australia, currently ranked second of 213 countries that play basketball, has never hosted the men’s event.
The World Champion defencejobs Opals were last month named the International Team of the Year at the Australian Sport Awards in Melbourne.