I thought, that it could not get any stranger after the interest of Spain and Denmark to organize the 2014 Basketball World Championship, but with 10 days to go to send in the Letters of Intent, we have a new competitor in the race: Saudi-Arabia.
After Spain, with the backings of the "best ever Eurobasket" and France with the "disaster from Singapore" losing against Turkey in the bid for the WC 2010, Denmark and Russia were the two other candidates in the race. But today, FIBA announced the first non-European nation to enter the contest: Saudi-Arabia.
This sounds even crazier to me than the Denmark idea. I won’t go into the political discussion and ask myself if Team USA would travel to Riyadh for the tournament but Saudi-Arabia and basketball are in my mind not really related except for the recent death of Marvin Stone.
A quick check on Google brought me up some strange stories about Saudi basketball like a 98-10 loss against China in 2005 or this article talking about the growing popularity of basketball in the country showing of a picture with empty seats in an arena.
I really don’t support the Spanish quest for another organization, and I am really not in favor to give the tournament to a non-basketball nation like Denmark (I remember the non-interest of Swedes in the Eurobasket a few years ago), but the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia would be the craziest place ever to organize this tournament. Well, at least the youtubers are also present there, so why not giving the World Championship again to Asia after Japan 2006.