FIBA Europe, the European branch of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), has stripped Ukraine of hosting EuroBasket 2015.
Today's announcement came following a meeting of the new FIBA Europe Board in Munich, which has decided "after careful consideration" that it is no longer feasible to stage the tournament due to the ongoing political situation and security issues in Ukraine.
Ukraine's ability to host the event had been in doubt for a number of months following civil and political upheaval, which culminated in Russia's annexation of the Crimea region in March.
Last month the governing body had granted organisers extra time to convince them that they could stage the event following a request from the Basketball Federation of Ukraine (FBU) President, Sasha Volkov.
In March, FIBA ordered a contingency plan be prepared for the 2015 tournament and moved the 2014 Under-18 European Championship Men Division B from Donetsk to Bulgaria following the outbreak of trouble in Ukraine.
That followed a period of confusion after the tournament's director Markiyan Lubkivsky had announced on March 19 that Ukraine had given up hosting rights only for the FBU to insist the next day that this was not the case, claiming that he was expressing a "purely private viewpoint".
As the confusion reigned, the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) submitted an offer to FIBA to host the 2015 tournament while it is believed that Italy, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Austria, Croatia and Germany are among other countries who would be interested in staging the event.
Ukraine was awarded the tournament in December 2011 and was due to host games in Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.
FIBA says that it has already started negotiations with Ukrainian officials about the possibility of hosting the 2017 edition provided that certain conditions are met.
France are widely seen as the favourites to now host the 24-team team tournament next year, however FIBA has now opened the bidding process to all European federations inviting single or multi-country bids.
All interested parties will have to present the required official documentation and guarantees by July 31, with FIBA revealing that a decision on the new EuroBasket 2015 hosts is expected by September 30 at the latest.
FIBA also revealed that it has brought forward its plans to reduce the number of games at Eurobasket championships which will now see the second round scrapped and teams moving directly into knock-out rounds following the group stage.
This will come into effect at the 2015 tournament which is scheduled to take place from September 5 to 20 once a new host is found.
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