3x3 basketball is set to feature at the Olympics for the second time at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has denied receiving an expression of interest from Hong Kong in staging a 3x3 basketball qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympics, after a private promoter claimed it had withdrawn due to excessive costs.

The city held its first event on the men's International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3x3 World Tour in November last year.

It was reported at the time by the South China Morning Post that organiser M1 Group had declared its intention to seek hosting rights for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where the final three of the available eight places in the men's and women's 3x3 basketball competitions at Paris 2024 are set to be decided.

However, M1 Group chief executive and Hong Kong Basketball Association vice-president Kenny Wong said it had now dropped its interest.

"After reading about the figure, which is in the region of HKD$20 million (£2 million/$2.6 million/€2.3 million), we’ve come to the conclusion it is too expensive," Wong said, as reported by the South China Morning Post.

"The major problem is we do not have a suitable sponsor.

"It is difficult to look for sponsors who are willing to splash that kind of money for an event during post-COVID times.

"We have yet to proceed with seeking Government funding, but that was never a problem for us."

Hong Kong held a men's FIBA 3x3 World Tour event for the first time last year ©fiba.basketball
Hong Kong held a men's FIBA 3x3 World Tour event for the first time last year ©fiba.basketball

FIBA claimed it had not received a formal declaration of Hong Kong's interest in the qualifier.

"FIBA never received a written expression of interest by the Hong Kong National Federation or from the private promoter organising the World Tour Masters event regarding the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments," a spokesperson told insidethegames.

"Therefore, FIBA has also not received any withdrawal of expression of interest. 

"In the meantime, one of the three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments has been awarded to Israel by the FIBA Central Board, and discussions continue with several interested parties for the remaining two tournaments."

Unlike most sports, hosts France are not assured of a qualification place in 3x3 basketball for Paris 2024, with only one of its men's or women's teams assigned a place depending on who is higher in the FIBA rankings.

Either two or three teams are set to qualify for the two 3x3 basketball tournaments at Paris 2024 via their FIBA 3x3 world ranking.

One place is available through the first FIBA Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament awarded to Israel, one through the second such event in which entry is determined by performance at continental cups and the World Cup, and three via the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Latvia's men and the United States women won the first 3x3 basketball Olympic gold medals at Tokyo 2020.