The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament for 3x3 basketball will go ahead as planned, it has been confirmed, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3x3 event manager Ignacio Soriano said today that the world governing body will proceed with the event, which is due to take place in Indian city Bengaluru from March 18 to 22.
"It's a force majeure," Soriano was reported as saying by ABS-CBN.
"We cannot plan for something when we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow and in the next month or in the next couple of months.
"So, for now, the first reaction is to keep the Olympic qualifying tournament in India as it is."
Twenty teams will take part in both the men's and women's qualifiers, with the event organised by the Basketball Federation of India.
Tokyo will witness the Olympic debut of 3x3 basketball from July 25 to 29, when eight-team tournaments will be held for men and women.
Three places in each event will be up for grabs in Bengaluru.
Soriano added that this year's FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, scheduled to be held from May 13 to 17, could be moved from Chinese city Changsha.
"We're working already in potentially changing the host city for the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup that is happening in May," he was reported as saying by ABS-CBN.
"We're working with different hosts but as of now nothing is official."
Soriano welcomed the possibility of hosting duties being taken over by the Philippines, a country he is visiting to meet with the owner of the national 3x3 basketball league, Ronald Mascariñas.
Discussions were held on the league's calendar for 2020 as well as the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters, which is set to run on May 2 and 3.
The coronavirus outbreak originated in Chinese city Wuhan and has since spread to several countries.
More than 71,000 cases of coronavirus – given the official name of COVID-19 by the World Health Organization – have been reported in China.
A total of 1,770 people have died from coronavirus in the country, according to Chinese authorities.