In 2017, for the first time in its history, Israel will be among the hosts of the European basketball championship, the basketball world governing body FIBA announced Saturday.
As one of the host countries, Israel will automatically qualify for the EuroBasket championship round.
Six teams, including Israel, will face off in a knockout group phase at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena between August 31 and September 5, 2017.
This year’s European basketball championship was the first to be hosted by multiple countries and FIBA says it opted to follow the same path for the 2017 edition due to its “unprecedented success.”
FIBA made the announcement in a press conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday afternoon, with Finland, Romania and Turkey named as the tournament’s other co-hosts. The final two knockout rounds will take place in Istanbul.
Erez Edelstein, the coach of Israel’s national basketball team, welcomed the decision, calling it “a very important day for Israeli basketball, and I’m glad to be a part of this history.”
“Well done to the Israel Basketball Association for all of its work behind the scenes and its success in bringing European championship basketball to fans in Israel,” he added.
In September, Israel was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the 2015 EuroBasket in Lille, France.
Spain defeated Lithuania 80-63 to take the continental title.
AP contributed to this report.