the decision “For technical reasons” not to contest the preliminary round of the basket in hall 6 of the Porte de Versailles exhibition center (the matches will take place at Bercy from the quarter-finals), the COJO and the federation International Basketball Federation (FIBA) cannot agree on the location of the first matches of the Olympic tournament. FIBA wants to stay close to the Olympic Village while Paris 2024 wants to make a switch between the start of handball (originally planned in Lille) and that of basketball. The COJO thus wishes that Karabatic and his family contest their playoffs at Porte de Versailles, thus giving up their place to Lille in the basket for the first days of the Games. One option doesn’t want to hear from FIBA who don’t want to communicate on the matter for now.
“We continue to discuss with FIBA, we specify on the side of Paris 2024. We are in the process of explaining why this is the best solution for us. » In fact, this inversion between the basket and the handball for the first week would be the most advantageous choice for Paris 2024 from a financial point of view (revenues from the Pierre-Mauroy stadium!), for the handball players who could benefit from the experience of the Games and for other sports that would not be impacted. The hypothesis of locating the basket at Arena 2 at Porte de la Chapelle would require finding another place for badminton. Which, politically, announced itself delicately. And proposing Lille to badminton rather than to the basket would not be the best solution in terms of ticketing either.
Paris 2024 would not have offered any other option in the capital
It is a standoff that is engaged with FIBA which, according to our information, remains firm on its positions. There are certainly elements of prestige to see the basket contested in the capital but technical elements would also come into play. The lack of air conditioning at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium would thus make the floor slippery and dangerous for the athletes. From a source familiar with the matter, it also seems that Paris 2024 was offered no other option in Paris (or the near suburbs) despite requests from FIBA. That Paris 2024 announced on Tuesday the opening of two new sites (probably Villepinte and Châteauroux) should give food for thought to the international basketball federation.
If the disagreement persists, it is up to the IOC, a stakeholder in the meetings between FIBA and the OCOG, to decide. At Paris 2024, we are confident that Lausanne will agree that the solution on the table is the best for everyone. Some actors outside the OCOG argue that the IOC is also pushing for this option, which is the most in line with the 2020 Agenda dear to President Thomas Bach.
A decision is expected for the board of directors on July 12, but Paris is not making it a deadline.