FIBA on Friday awarded the hosting rights for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup to China.

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines were the two finalists bidding to host FIBA’s flagship event four years from now.

The decision was taken by FIBA’s Central Board after both candidates submitted their bids and each gave presentations during the Host Announcement Ceremony.

The Central Board vote saw 14 in favour of China’s bid, with seven backing that of Philippines.

This is the first time that China will host FIBA’s flagship event.

Yao Ming, the Ambassador for the China 2019 bid, said: “It’s such an exciting moment to bring the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup to China and I’m sure that millions of fans are sharing this joy with us.

“We have to pay tribute to the Philippines delegation. They were great opponents. Only opponents like them could really push us to our limits to test how capable we are. Even if we were opponents on this occasion, we still have a friendship with them.

“I know what it’s like to play a top level basketball tournament in front of home fans because I played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Having the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will inspire a lot of people and particularly more young athletes to participate in basketball.”

Horacio Muratore, the President of FIBA, said: “This was a very difficult decision because we had two national federations who did excellent work. However, there can only be one host country for our event in 2019 and it will be China.

“We would like to congratulate both national federations for their outstanding work and bids. This is what we wanted: to have national federations put together top quality bids to host our flagship event.

“We look forward to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will be the first of a new era with 140 teams competing during a 15-month qualification period to be among the 32 playing in China.”

China’s bid calls for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup to be played in eight cities – Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan.