Ukraine will be able to host EuroBasket 2017 – Poroshenko
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said he hopes that Ukraine could provide hosting of EuroBasket 2017 and all necessary conditions for this.
During the meeting with FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel, the head of the state expressed gratitude for the position of FIBA to postpone the European Basketball Championship that was to be held in Ukraine in 2015 to the year 2017.
"Thank you for your understanding of Ukraine's proposal to postpone the holding of EuroBasket. The whole world demonstrates solidarity with Ukraine in these extremely difficult conditions because now we are virtually fighting for our independence," he said.
Poroshenko expressed belief that the situation in the Donbas was being changed. According to recent opinion polls, the majority of residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions stand for the unity of Ukraine. "The support of people from the heart of the Donbas helps a lot," the president noted.
"This fact provides an opportunity to hope for the achievement of peace and stability in a few months. It will prevent the cancellation of EuroBasket and allow its postponement," the head of the state added.
In his turn, FIBA Europe President noted that his organization understood the events in Ukraine. According to him, holding of such tournament requires "security, stability and proper infrastructure".
The Ukrainian president expressed hope that in 2017, Ukraine would be able to ensure decent conditions for holding the championship. He stressed that Ukraine had already had a positive experience of holding large-scale sports events, particularly Euro 2012.
According to the president, Euro 2012 demonstrated not only solidarity with Poland, which was the co-organizer, but also unity of Ukraine. "I remember my feelings at 2000 a.m. in Donetsk, when even after our loss against France people sang national anthem wearing T-shirts of our national team and having Ukrainian flags in their hands. All the people supported this. It demonstrated the unity of Ukraine and I am confident that basketball can play the same role," Poroshenko said.