STA, 15 April 2019 - The Slovenian Basketball Association's (KZS) bid for Slovenia to host one of the preliminary groups of the EuroBasket 2021 has been endorsed by the government.
Hosting one of the preliminary groups would cost 4.5 million euro, of which 1.8 million euro in a fee and another 700,000 euro in other fixed costs.
Slovenia would have to pay the fee and the other fixed costs of 2.5 million euro to FIBA Europe in advance. Today's green light means the money will come from the government.
"We asked the state for a donation or a kind of a loan since the Basketball Association could not afford to pay the 2.5 million to FIBA Europe in advance, this is practically its entire annual budget," explained KZS president Matej Erjavec.
But judging by the EuroBasket 2013, which was held in Slovenia, the investment pays off at the end of the competition through ticket sales and sponsors, he added.
The funds will be allocated to the KZS as part of the 2021 annual sport plan on the basis of the rules governing co-funding sport events at national level.
Apart from Slovenia, also vying for the tournament are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary and Italy.
Erjavec has recently said that seven bids arrived at FIBA Europe, among them only one for the final part of the tournament, which means Slovenia has a 50% chance to win one of the preliminary groups.
He has also explained there were two reasons why the KZS would like to host one of the EuroBasket 2021 groups.
As a host, Slovenia would qualify for the championships directly, without having to play in qualifications. This means the relatively young national team would have a chance to mature in the coming two years without being under pressure to deliver results.
The other reason is a wish to have NBA star Luka Dončić play in front of a home crowd. "We're aware that NBA players could not take part in the qualifications as they were designed for the world championships," said Erjavec.
If it is selected one of the hosts, Slovenia will organise such a prominent basketball event for the second time - after hosting the entire tournament in 2013.