GENEVA, Switzerland — If the FIFA World Cup has witnessed an unparalleled fan frenzy, basketball fans in Japan and around the world have discovered the FIBA World Championship is not much different.

The news will come as no surprise with the world’s best players like Argentina’s Emanuel Ginobili, Team USA’s Dwayne Wade, Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki, Austrlia’s Andrew Bogut, France’s Tony Parker and Spain’s Pau Gasol among the dozens of superstars headed for the tournament.

The Local Organising Committee in Tokyo announced that the Group Games in Hiroshima and Sapporo are sold out whilst Hamamatsu, and Sendai only have small quantities remaining. Only Japanese fans will have a chance in a last sales wave to buy the last tickets. For the first round, a ticket is valid for the complete session of all three games per day. The prices range from 4.000 to 9.000 Yen per ticket.

The Final Round in the Saitama Super arena, which can hold 22.000 spectators, has also witnessed a run for tickets. Some Game days such as the Semi Finals and Finals are almost sold out, whereas for the Eighth Finals and Quarter Finals limited contingents are still available. For the final round in Saitama a ticket is valid for two games and the prices range is from 5.000 to 20.000 Yen per ticket. For reference: the exchange rate is about 119Yen/US$.

FIBA World Championship – One World – One Title: Event Outline

The FIBA World Championship is played every 4 years and determines the best basketball nation of the world. The first World Championship was played in 1950 in Argentina.
The 2006 edition will be played in Japan from 19th August until 3rd September in five different cities. FIBA has increased the number of teams playing at the FIBA World Championship from 16 to 24 teams because of the increased level of basketball around the world and the increasing number of competitive teams at the highest level.

Group A
Sendai

Group B
Hiroshima

Group C
Hamamatsu

Group D
Sapporo

Argentina
Venezuela
France
Serbia & Montenegro
Lebanon
Nigeria

Spain
Panama
Germany
Japan
New Zealand
Angola

Lithuania
Brazil
Greece
Turkey
Australia
Qatar

USA
Puerto Rico
Slovenia
Italy
P.R. of China
Senegal


The teams will play against each other in the preliminary phase in four groups of 6 teams. The 4 top teams from each group will then qualify directly for the Eighth-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals. All the games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played on a one-game elimination basis in the city of Saitama.
The 2006 FIBA World Champion will qualify automatically for the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men in Beijing.