— Published 5 December 2022

A green light with conditions

The probable end of a long soap opera. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has given the green light for Lille to host the group stage of the Olympic tournament at the 2024 Paris Games. But it remains conditional. The body announced this in a statement issued at the end of its board meeting in Lausanne. “As the Games approach (26 July – 11 August 2024), and given the significant efforts made by all parties and their experts, it has been decided exceptionally to approve this site with reservations, pending confirmation that FIBA’s requirements are met, in particular those relating to the health and safety of players and the associated risks,” the document explains. The reservations in question are mainly technical. They concern the air-conditioning of the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille (photo above), required by FIBA under the terms of the specifications signed by the two parties for the Olympic event. Meetings have been held over the past few months between FIBA and OCOG Paris 2024 experts. Things are progressing, but FIBA says in its press release that it will keep a close eye on the configuration of the site to ensure the safety of the players and to avoid any risk of accidents caused by a slippery floor. As planned by the OCOG, the first round of the handball tournament, initially scheduled to take place in Lille, has been moved to Paris, in Hall 6 of the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles. The finals of the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be held at the Bercy Arena.