By David Gold

fiba 03-11-111November 3 - Four countries have put themselves forward to host the final men's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and another three are bidding to stage the women's event.

Angola, Macedonia, Lithuania and Venezuela are hoping to host the men's tournament from July 2 until 8 while Argentina, the Czech Republic and Turkey are fighting for the women's qualifiers from June 25 until July 1.

It is the first time that countries from outside Europe have bid to host the tournament, which will see three teams in each competition qualify for London next year.

The decisions on the hosts will be made at the FIBA Central Board's meeting in Madrid on December 10 and 11.

Angola are bidding to host a worldwide FIBA event for the first time having staged the Afrobasket three times, while Macedonia have never held a major senior basketball event.

Lithuania have recently staged the 2011 EuroBasket and would represent a safe choice, while Venezuela have also never held a worldwide FIBA championship.

Argentina held the FIBA World Championships for men in 1950 and 1990 but have never held a women's FIBA event, but Turkey hosted the same competition in 2010.

The Czech Republic hosted the women's EuroBasket competition in 1995.

The qualifying tournaments will see 12 teams divided into four groups, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.

The winning semi-finalists and the winner of the third-place play-off will qualify for London in both the men and women's competitions.

The teams participating in the men's contest will be Angola, Dominican Republic, Macedonia, Greece, Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Russia and Venezuela.

In the women's, Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Korea, Mali, New Zealand, Senegal and Turkey are competing to reach London 2012.

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