Media reports suggest that boxing is being considered by the organisers of the Paris Olympics to replace basketball at Hall Six of the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles.
According to French newspaper L’Équipe, boxing is one of the sports that could potentially replace basketball, which was originally slotted at the venue.
The preliminary round of the basketball event has reportedly been moved from the venue after the Olympic organisers and the International Basketball Federation bowed to pressure from members of France’s Olympic silver medal-winning team.
National Basketball Association athletes Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, and Rudy Gobert had criticised the Parc des Expositions venue for having a low ceiling, with Vincent Poirier and Andrew Albicy also expressing their displeasure.
The ceiling of Hall Six is 9 metres high, well within FIBA regulations, but it would still allegedly have been the lowest in Olympic basketball history.
Meanwhile, boxing is scheduled to be held on the Suzanne-Lenglen court at Roland-Garros.
The possibility of it being transferred to the Parc des Expositions has been refuted by Dominique Nato, the President of the French Boxing Federation.
“Boxing remains on the Suzanne Lenglen court and the final phase could even take place on the Philippe-Chatrier court,” he told L’Équipe.
The Parc des Expositions hosted numerous major fights in the early 1970s, such as the world semi-final between France’s Jean-Claude Bouttier and the United States’ Emil Griffith on December 18, 1972.
Discussions are reportedly continuing between the Paris 2024 organisers, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and several international federations to agree on a sport that could take basketball’s place at the venue.
According to L’Équipe, a deadline of July 2023 has been set to establish a new site map of the Parc des Expositions.