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Thursday, June 24, 2021

FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers cancelled amid Qatar COVID-19 concerns

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As concerns over rising COVID-19 cases continue to simmer in Qatar, FIBA said an upcoming tournament has been cancelled.

The FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers for Group A, B and E due to be held in Qatar in February have been cancelled, amid concerns about an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the sporting organisation told Doha News.

FIBA said it assessed the situation and deemed it fit to postpone the third window of the qualifiers after Qatar imposed new restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Of the six groups, Group D and F will take place as scheduled in Manama, Bahrain and Group C game between New Zealand and Australia will take place in Australia on February 20. 

FIBA is currently looking into alternative potential hosts for the groups that were due to play in Doha. However, there has been no confirmation from the body yet. 

“Once we finalise host/s we will make a release confirming the new location/s of Groups A,B and E,” FIBA said in a statement to Doha News.

The decision was made amid a rise in cases that has triggered concerns over a potential second wave

At the start of the year, authorities confirmed 2,241 active cases. This has since increased by 287% to 8,675 active cases. 

Across the world, the virus has constantly mutated into new strains, with two detected in the UK and South Africa, though Qatar has so far been spared.

In February, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management held a press conference to announce the reimposition of some restrictions in a bid to contain the surge in cases.

On Sunday, health authorities in the country recorded a total of 440 new COVID-19 cases. Despite the alarming numbers, Qatar has had a coronavirus fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world.


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