Women's Sport: Great Britain's women's basketball Tokyo qualifiers moved to Serbia over coronavirus fears

Great Britain v Portugal - FIBA Women's Eurobasket Qualifier

Great Britain’s women’s basketball qualifiers have been moved from China to Serbia over fears stemming from the coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan.

The qualifying tournament was scheduled to take place from February 6th to 9th in the southern city of Foshan. However, just over a week before the qualifiers were set to start the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced today that the competition would move to Belgrade.

FIBA explained that the decision was made in order to protect players and travelling team members.

“After having carefully evaluated the developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak and placing as a main priority the safety of the participating players and team delegation members, the FIBA Executive Committee decided to relocate the tournament.”

The death toll for those infected with the coronavirus has continued to rise to 81 with an estimated 3,000 more infected and at least 44 cases confirmed abroad.

The tournament will go ahead as planned and will see GB’s women take on China, Korea and Spain to secure a place at this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Maurice Watkins, the chair of British Basketball, said he was glad to hear FIBA had taken the quick precaution to protect the players.

“The health and safety of the players and staff is of paramount importance in this situation. We thank FIBA for taking swift action on this issue in difficult circumstances."

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