Fiba rubber-stamps women’s competition reform, extends Baumann contract

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has approved a new competitions system for women’s national team events, while it has also handed a long-term contract extension to secretary general Patrick Baumann.

During a meeting held at the weekend, Fiba’s Central Board approved the finalised version of a system that will come into effect in November 2019 and bring the women’s game in line with a similar system deployed for the men.

The new system sets out the road to all of Fiba’s main women’s competitions over a four-year cycle – the Women’s World Cup, Olympic tournament and Continental Cups.

Qualification for the World Cup will be determined through qualifiers instead of the Continental Cups, which become stand-alone events. The final standings at the previous edition of the Continental Cups will determine which teams participate in the first round of qualifiers in each region, for both World Cups and Olympic Games.

The 2022 World Cup qualifiers will be played as tournaments, with a first round in each region and a second round consisting of four global qualifying tournaments. The first round will consist of 34 teams with Asia and Oceania combined in an effort to ensure competitive games.

Qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games will be played as tournaments, with a first round played in each region and a second round split into four tournaments. Fiba said in a statement: “The Central Board firmly believes this new system is a major step forward and presents a great opportunity to get the most out of the untapped potential in the women's game.”

Meanwhile, Fiba has extended Baumann’s contract until 2031. The Swiss official has held the position since 2003. In 2010 his contract was renewed until 2022.

Fiba president Horacio Muratore said: “He has helped Fiba become a solid organisation thanks to the implementation of concrete measures such as the introduction of a new, efficient modern structure and governance system, which unites the whole Fiba family, integrates its key stakeholders and protects our values; the construction of the House of Basketball, our first and very own purpose-built headquarters; and the signing of long-term commercial partnerships, providing for a stable and strong financial foundation which supports all of the Fiba family for the next decade.

“From a sporting perspective, he has been instrumental in the development of our new competition system that came into effect last year as well as the successful launch of 3×3, which has now become an Olympic discipline. These accomplishments, among others, have contributed greatly to Fiba’s vision of making basketball the most popular sports community.”

Baumann is one of the most high-profile figures in international sports governance, chiefly through his position as president of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella group of more than 90 Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations.