FIBA includes India in the pre-qualifying Olympic tournament

As per the original tournament rules, India wouldn't have made the cut, having finished 8th and last in Division-A of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup basketball meet.

Action during the FIBA Women's Asia Cup fixture between India and Philippines.   -  AFP

In a sudden development, the international basketball federation (FIBA) has decided to include India in the FIBA Pre-Qualifying Olympic tournament.

As per the original tournament rules, India would not have made the cut, having finished eighth and last in Division-A of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup basketball tournament here. The top seven teams of Division-A, and the winner of Division-B were initially marked to make it to pre-qualifiers.

But since the Division-B tournament was not held - due to non-availability of a host – India takes a spot in the pre-qualifiers, a FIBA official stated. This decision was taken on Friday morning, shortly before India took on Philippines in the seventh-place playoff match, the official stated. FIBA did not release any information on the matter, and the development only came to light when India was included in the pre-qualifying draw ceremony held here on Saturday.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics pre-qualifiers (Asia-Oceania) will take place from November 14 to 17. The host will be announced at a later date. The eight sides will compete for four spots at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying tournaments to be held next year.

India relegation status, from Division-A to Division-B of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup, is unclear. If the Division-B tournament is not held in due course, India could retain its spot in the elite Division-A for the next edition of the continental championship.

FIBA Pre-Qualifying Olympic draw

Group A: Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, China

Group B: Japan, Australia, Chinese Taipei, India