What is a wild card?
Wild cards are invitations to the FIBA World Championship provided to 4 countries by the FIBA Central Board, FIBA's highest executive body.
Under the current rules, the host country and the reigning Olympic Champion qualify for the Championship automatically. The five Zone Championships, which determine each continent's strongesrt teams, also act as qualifying tournaments with a total of 18 countries securing a place at the FIBA World Championship.
As of 2006, the number of participating teams was increased from 16 to 24. FIBA's Central Board decided that four of the additional eight places would be allocated to countries chosen by FIBA. The wild card was born.
For the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, Italy, Puerto Rico, Serbia & Montenegro and Turkey recived wild cards.
14 countries applied to receive wild cards for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, hoping to get hold of the last remaining tickets to Turkey.
FIBA's Central Board makes the decision according to a list of carefully studied criteria, which includes aspects related to sporting performance, sports gouvernance and economic factors.
The criteria for the wild cards
- In order to be invited , a team must have participated in the (respective Zone) qualifying competitions (2008/2009).
- There will be a maximum of three teams from any one Zone.
In addition to the two above-mentioned provisions, FIBA shall take the following aspects into consideration:
- The popularity of basketball in the country
- The quality and sporting results of the national teams of the country
- The involvement of the local television and/or competitions in domestic and international basketball
- The importance of the country to FIBA's marketing and television partners
- The importance of the country to the Organisers of the World Championship
- Compliance with the Internal Regulations and General Statutes of FIBA
- The quality of the work of the National Federation
- Governmental support to the National Federation
Late Registration Fee
- FIBA will require from the invited teams the payment of a late registration fee prior to the Central Board decision. The amounts collected will be used for the promotion of basketball through FIBA’s International Basketball Foundation.