First implemented with great success at FIBA EuroBasket 2015, each of the tournament hosts is allowed to select a partner federation. This guarantees the partner federation will be drawn into the same group as the respective host at the FIBA EuroBasket Draw. The key benefits behind the partnership are to assist in ticket sales and forge a stronger relationship between the two countries.
"We are extremely excited about our partnership with Iceland. We are welcoming the Icelandic fans with open arms in Helsinki," claimed Ari Tammivaara, Director of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Finland LOC.
He continued: "Both Finnish and Icelandic fans are known for their unconditional support of their national teams, for their positive energy and joyfulness. It’s easy to picture Helsinki being a feel-good place to be during FIBA EuroBasket 2017."
The President of the Icelandic Federation and FIBA Europe Board Member Hannes Jonsson echoed the words of Tammivaara: "We are extremely happy to announce that we have come to an agreement with our friends in Finland and they have selected us as their partner federation for FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Helsinki.
"Our fans are excited to experience EuroBasket once again and were right away hopeful to go to our Nordic friends in Helsinki when we qualified. Now that dream is confirmed and we have felt a great interest for the upcoming adventure next fall.
"It's our hope that now the whole Nordic family and basketball fans will gather in Finland and enjoy the positive and family friendly atmosphere that the Finnish and Icelandic fans have created in recent years and create a real basketball festival during EuroBasket in Helsinki.
"Basketball has been growing in the Nordic countries in the past years and now the next big step has been taken with Finland hosting EuroBasket and Iceland joining them, which is historical for Icelandic basketball and sport in general in Iceland."
The remaining three host federations are expected to announce their partners in the coming weeks, prior to the Draw, which will take place in Istanbul on 22 November.
FIBA EuroBasket 2017 runs from 31 August to 17 September next year, and will be co-hosted by Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey.