The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced dates for 2021 African Basketball Championships (Afrobasket) to be held at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda.
The continent’s biggest basketball showpiece has been scheduled for August 17-29, 2021.
Désiré Mugwiza, president of the Rwanda Basketball Federation, confirmed the development to Times Sport on Tuesday.
Rwanda was announced as the host nation for the tournament’s 30th edition in June during the FIBA Africa General Assembly, in Mali, after beating Ivory Coast, Senegal and DR Congo in the bidding process.
This will be the first Afrobasket tournament to be held after four years since the 2017 switch from a once-in-two-years format.
Rwanda has been to the Afrobasket finals on five occasions in the last six editions – since their 2007 debut – and the team’s best performance remains a ninth position finish at the 2009 edition, in Libya.
Qualifiers start in February
In the meantime, qualifiers for the competition will start in February 2020 and run through February 2021, with 20 teams battling it out for the 15 slots up for grabs.
The qualifiers will consist of three windows; first from February 17-25 in 2020, second in November 2020, before the final round in February 2021.
The 20 teams will be divided into five groups of four. The top three from each group will qualify and join the hosts for the highly anticipated fresh-look competition.
Tunisia are the defending champions, while Angola have won it a record 11 times – six times more than Senegal. Egypt are four-time winners.
Having last been held in the Eastern African region in 1993 – in Kenya –, Afrobasket will be coming to Rwanda for the first time ever.Follow https://twitter.com/NkotanyiDamas