FIBA's Executive Committee has confirmed the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 will be hosted in the Latvian cities of Riga and Daugavpils. The event will take place from July 3 to 11, 2021, in three venues with 16 teams.
The Baltic country has excellent experience at organizing high-level sporting events, with the Latvian Basketball Association serving as co-host of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019 and FIBA EuroBasket 2015. They also held the 18th edition of the Basketball Without Borders Europe in 2019 and most recently have been a Group host of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers, with the tournament being played in a protected bubble format.
Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary General, said: "It is with great satisfaction that the Executive Committee confirms today the hosting rights of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 to the Latvian Basketball Association. Today's announcement confirms the return of our world youth events and it is fantastic news for all the young talents who are excited to represent their country."
President of the Latvian Basketball Association, Raimonds Vejonis, said: "Latvian Basketball Association highly appreciates the trust that FIBA has given to us to organize the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021, particularly in such a difficult time. I am certain that our previous experience in organizing high-level international tournaments and the professionalism and hospitality of the Latvian basketball community will ensure the success of the competition.
"Our priority will be the safety of all participants, so we will act in accordance with the highest standards of epidemiological safety. I do hope that by the summer the pandemic will have receded and our guests will be able to appreciate not only the quality of our hotels and gyms but also Latvia's nature and culture."
All health and safety measures requested by local and national authorities and the "FIBA Return to Basketball COVID-19 Protocol for FIBA Official National Team and Club Competition”, developed by the FIBA Medical Advisory Group (MAG) in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), will be implemented.
The previous edition of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup saw the USA win the competition for the seventh time in their history, defeating Mali in the Final, 93-79. Mali made history as the first African nation to appear in a FIBA U19 Final. A new trophy was presented in Greece in 2019 to the champions featuring a basketball sculpted in a rising star shape.
The FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2021 will tip-off on August 7 in Debrecen, Hungary.