MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines, Indonesia and Japan will bank on their diversity and huge population to convince FIBA, the world governing of basketball, to give them the right to host the 2023 World Cup.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas head honchos Al Panlilio and Sonny Barriors said in a press conference at the Meralco Compound in Ortigas Monday, December 4, that they will highlight the “uniqueness” of co-hosting the World Cup, which will be a first in the history of the event, in its presentation before FIBA officials in Geneva on December 9.
“If you’re FIBA and your main objective is globalization of the sport, then dapat mas ano ka dun sa co-hosting bid nitong tatlo kasi mas global ang reach in many aspects—culturally, religiously, economically, even sheer numbers,” said Barrios, the SBP executive director.
(If you’re FIBA and your main objective is globalization of the sport, then you should go with co-hosting bid of the three countries since they have a more global reach in many aspects—culturally, religiously, economically and even sheer numbers.)
The 2023 World Cup hosting race, which was previously joined by basketball powerhouses Turkey and Russia, is now down with the combination of Philippines, Japan and Indonesia and another joint bid by South American countries Argentina and Uruguay.
Barrios said that Argentina and Uruguay might argue that the 2023 World Cup should happen in South America and not in Asia again since the 2019 edition will be held in China.
But Barrios said that they will also rely on the fact that the combined population of the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia of 500 million, which would mean more viewership for FIBA, is a far cry from Argentina and Uruguay’s combined population of 48 million.
Panlilio, the president of the SBP, added that with the 3 countries’ bigger population, FIBA has a chance to be more popular worldwide than FIFA.
“If you want to convince sponsors to be part of this event, marketeers will look at how big of a market they can attract. I think that’s also aligned to what FIBA wants to do, how do you expand basketball globally, bigger ng FIFA, bigger than soccer. I think FIFA is a much bigger sport today globally than FIBA and I think FIBA has aspirations to challenge that globally so what better way, to the point of population, is to bring it to more than less,” said Panlilio.
32 countries will see action in the 2023 World Cup and if things go SBP’s way, the Philippines will host 16 countries while Indonesia and Japan will both have 8 countries each to cater to.
The finals phase, which include the semifinals and the finals of the tournament, will then be held in the Philippines, possibly at the Philippine Arena.
Before they make the presentation to FIBA, Panlilio and Barrios called on Filipinos from all over the globe to make the hashtag #playlouderin2023 trend as a testament of the country’s desire to host the World Cup. – Rappler.com