January 11 - This year's FIBA Asia Championship have been moved from Beirut in Lebanon to Manila in the Philippines due to fears over the impact of the civil war in Syria on the country, it has been announced.
FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian said: "Unfortunately, the current situation in the region and the on-going civil war in Syria, which has its indirect effect on the countries in the whole of West Asia, especially on Lebanon, creates doubt about the stability that we might not have, at least, till the fixed dates of our event."
"In view of these facts, FIBA Asia Executive Committee decided to change the venue of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship from Beirut, Lebanon to Manila, Philippines."
The Syrian civil war has spilled over into neighbouring Lebanon, leading to violent clashes in the Northern part of the country between supporters and opposition of the Syrian Government.
Samahang Basketbol NG Pilipinas (SBP), the National Federation for basketball in the Philippines, did bid for the event originally in September 2012, but lost to the bid from Lebanon, who would have been hosting the event for the first time.
The tournament, which is due to take place between August 1 and August 11, takes place every two years and acts as a qualifier for the FIBA World Cup, with the top 3 countries qualifying to represent Asia in the event.
It has been held since 1960 when Manila were the first hosts.
China are the current holders, defeating Jordan in the final of the 2011 event in Wuhan, China, to claim their 15th Asia Basketball Championship.
The Philippines are the second most successful country in the event's history, having won it five times.
But their last victory was back in 1985, when the Championships were held in Kuala Lumpur.
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