The Players’ Commission of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) held an online meeting on Friday, discussing the relocation of the Paris 2024 basketball competitions in Lille.
“Regarding the upcoming Olympics in France, the Players’ Commission expressed concerns about the Group Phase of the basketball tournaments being staged in Lille,” a news release from FIBA announced.
“The Players’ Commission cited worries about the health and safety of the players in a stadium with a retractable roof during the summer.
“They also expressed concern about the distance between Lille and Paris since it will essentially prevent the players from having the full Olympic experience and staying in the Athletes’ Village, while several teams would also have to miss out on attending the Opening Ceremony,” it added.
In July 2022, the Paris 2024 Board of Directors, after talks with FIBA and the IOC, decided Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Lille should hold preliminary basketball games. Lille is about 130 miles north of Paris.
Paris 2024 said that putting preliminary basketball games in Lille will allow handball players to compete in Paris. Previously, the entire handball schedule was slated for Lille. If basketball preliminaries are moved out of Paris, handball preliminaries can be held in the venue vacated by basketball.
The IOC must still issue final approval of the venue plans.
If approved, it would mark the first time that Olympic basketball games are held this far outside of the Olympic host city, according to Olympedia.org. At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, the entire basketball tournaments were held at The Forum in nearby Inglewood.