GUANGZHOU, China, May 8 (Xinhua) -- A newly-designed International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup trophy was unveiled on Sunday as the official draw ceremony for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers took place in Guangzhou.
For the first time in its history, one of basketall's most prized assets is made almost entirely out of gold and features a roll of honor listing all previous world champions.
Designed by Radiant, a London-based branding and design agency, the trophy also features a golden hoop in which "Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur", FIBA's original name, is written.
As the host of the 2019 World Cup finals, China qualifies for the tournament automatically. But they will still play in the preliminary rounds, although these matches will not count toward their offical ranking.
Team China is pitted against teams from Hong Kong of China, South Korea and New Zealand in Group A of the Asia-Pacific zone qualifiers.
FIBA Basketball World Cup's qualifying campaign will kick off in November 2017. A total of 80 teams will be competing for 31 spots.
Five teams from Africa, seven from Asia-Pacific, seven from the Americas and 12 from Europe will join hosts China at the World Cup finals slated for August 31-September 15, 2019.
Eight Chinese citites including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Foshan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Wuhan and Nanjing will host the event.