Rwanda men’s basketball team will play the first round tournament of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers next year in Bamako, Mali.
The development was confirmed on Wednesday after FIBA Africa announced that Bamako (Mali) and Maputo (Mozambique) will host Groups B and D of the African Qualifiers respectively with the two First Round tournaments set to run from February 23-25, 2018.
The Malian capital Bamako will host Group B that consists of Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda while in Group D, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic and Mozambique will face off in Maputo.
The top-three teams of each group will advance to the decisive 12-team round of the qualifiers, which will see national teams (in two groups of six) play home-and-away games over another three-window period and the top two teams from each group, plus the best loser, will then qualify for World Cup.
The seven other African teams that missed out on qualifying directly will then take part in a new 16-team competition called the FIBA-African to be played in the summer of 2019.
Games in Groups A and C took place last weekend in Yaounde and Luanda respectively.
Tunisia, Cameroon and Chad qualified for the second round from Group A while Angola, Egypt and Morocco advanced from Group C.
Under FIBA’s new competition System, Africa will for the first time qualify five teams to the World Cup that will be hosted by China from 31st August – 15th September, 2019.