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Malta men’s national team to defend gold medal in Euro Championship in Dublin

FIBA Europe gave the green light so that the 2021 European Basketball Men’s Championship for Small Countries will go ahead as planned in Dublin Ireland, albeit on different dates than previously scheduled.

Malta’s men national team is one of the countries that are scheduled to take part in this year’s continental championships where they are set to defend the gold medal they won in the last edition held in San Marino in 2018.

However, this year’s championship was put in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the FIBA Europe Board met on Tuesday to discuss the future of all the continental championships scheduled for this summer.

It is understood that FIBA Europe has agreed that this year’s Men’s European Championship for Small Countries will be switched to the Irish city of Dublin from Limerick and will be held between August 10 and 15.

The European Basketball Women’s Championship for Small Countries will be organised in Cyprus and will be played between July 20 and 25.

Meanwhile, all youth continental competions, namely the European Championships in the U-16, U-18 and U-20 scheduled for this summer were cancelled.

“The Board, reflecting the wish of most National Federations to play official youth competitions in Summer 2021 and having taken into consideration the fact that organizing a large number of tournaments of 16 or more teams is not feasible in the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, approved a solution to organize smaller tournaments – the FIBA Youth European Challengers 2021 – during the period foreseen for the respective category,” FIBA said in a statement.

FIBA said that the events are to be played on a voluntary participation basis, with promotion/relegation to be frozen across Divisions A, B and C.

The Top 18 ranked teams (16 currently in Division A, plus two additional teams by 2019 ranking in respective category) will play three tournaments of six teams each.

All other registered teams ranked 19 and lower, to play in tournaments of up to six teams each.

One tournament of up to six teams to be created with the lowest-ranked teams to accommodate Division C and Small Countries.

All tournaments will be played in Round Robin format, with groups to be created by “serpentine” style allocation, taking the hosting situation into consideration.

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