Estonia: The Government decides to make it possible to hold the qualifying tournament for the European Basketball Championship in Tallinn

NordenBladet —The Government approved the proposal of the Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas to allow a specification for the organisation of group games of the European Basketball Championship qualification tournament in Tallinn. By way of the specification, the other members of the delegation that have been in close contact with a person who has given a positive test result for having the coronavirus, may continue to train and compete after additional testing and having been tested negative for the coronavirus.

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the organisers of the European Basketball Championship have made great efforts to conduct the sporting event in a way that ensures safety from infection. “The Government’s objective is to keep life in Estonia as open as possible so that, despite the spread of the coronavirus, we are able to continue living as normal lives as possible,” he said. “The holding of the European Championship in Estonia is an event that affects the future of our sport. Organising sport events at a top level for Europe will help Estonia in obtaining the rights to organise high-level international sports competitions later on. Thinking about the future of Estonian sports and trusting the professionalism of the organisers and them cooperating with the Health Board, the Government decided today to allow the specification.”

“Organising the tournament will give our national team the advantage of playing on its home court and will thus, perhaps, also give an opportunity to reach the final tournament of the European Championship in 2022. Of course this will depend on whether the team plays good basketball,” said Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas. “This change has been made so that the accidental illness of one athlete will not cause the entire tournament to end. The current procedure would necessitate this, because the entire team would then automatically need to leave Tallinn,” he noted. Lukas added that the tournament will also have a wider impact – due to the spread of COVID-19, several international competitions have been cancelled in Estonia since March; for this reason, every international competition that can be organised in Estonia is a positive for the country’s economy.

The qualifying tournament of the European Championship will see the men’s teams of Estonia, Russia, North Macedonia and Italy taking part. The games will be held on 28 and 30 November in Saku Suurhall. The teams will be Estonia from 24 November to 1 December, during which time, regular testing and supervision of the teams will be ensured. During the organisation of the tournament, the COVID-19 protocol established by the International Basketball Federation and the restrictions on the spread of the virus established in Estonia will be adhered to. The event will be held without spectators; tickets already sold will be bought back.

The Estonian Basketball Association, Saku Suurhall, Sportity, Piletikeskus, G4S Estonia, Estonian Police, Tallinn Airport, Hilton Tallinn Park, Hansabuss, SYNLAB, Confido, Sportomedica, Kotka Health Centre, Health Board, Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs are involved in organising the tournament.

The Government Communication Office is publishing the order and its explanatory memorandum on the website.


Source: Estonian Government



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