View Emin BALCI, Turgay DEMIREL video interview
ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) - There will be an exciting change to the game schedule at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey when compared to the event three ago in Japan.
Following a rest day, when teams that survive Preliminary Round games in Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri will to travel to Istanbul, the Eighth-Finals in Istanbul will be played from September 4-7.
In Saitama in 2006, the eight games were crammed in to two days.
While the entire competition in Japan was a huge spectacle that was very successful, sentiment was expressed that this critical stage of the FIBA World Championship was played too quickly.
There are obvious benefits to having the Eighth-Finals spread out with two games per day.
Each contest will receive more attention by the media, and some teams will have more preparation time for their games in the last 16.
As for the national sides that play on the first two days of the Eighth-Finals, they will have more rest time before their next games.
The driving force behind the chance was the Local Organizing Committee.
“We proposed this to FIBA and they accepted it today that we prolong the tournament in those very important days,” Demirel said to FIBA.Com.
“Those qualification games are very exciting and nobody can watch four games in one day and nobody can follow it through the media and television.
“So our argument was having more ticket sales, having more TV coverage and having more media coverage.
“That was accepted by the Board, so we’re only going to have two games on each of the four days, and then we will start with the Quarter-Finals.
“I think that will be an exciting development and all of the people in front of TVs, or in the gyms, will enjoy those two games per day.
“I think we had to make changes to increase the popularity of our sport, to affect more people and more income from every part of the world.”
Long before the Eighth-Finals will be the draw ceremony and that will take place in Istanbul on Tuesday, in the Ciragan Palace.
Emin Balci, the events director for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, wore a big smile on Sunday night as more than two dozen men prepared for the draw.
"As you know, there are many technicians and workers getting ready for the draw,” said Balci to FIBA.Com while standing underneath a beautiful chandelier.
"That means we are at an important step of the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
"It's the most important basketball event in the world, so we're very excited.
"It (the draw) is going to be a great show and then everything is going to be clear for the World Championship."
Basketball dignitaries, many of them legends in the game as coaches or players, will be on hand for the ceremony.
All who are interested in the draw but are not in attendance can watch the drama unfold by watching a live internet broadcast on turkey2010.fiba.com.