FIBA Europe has announced that it will shorten its flagship tournament Eurobasket from 2017 onwards.

The new rule, which was approved by FIBA Europe’s board in meetings held in Madrid will see the second round scrapped and the knockout phase begin after the first round.

The move comes after criticism about the length of Eurobasket during this year’s tournament in Slovenia with fears that the game’s top European stars chose to avoid it in case of fatigue.

Having the tournament shortened reflects the effort made by FIBA Europe to make Eurobasket a more attractive event, as written in their official statement.

Eurobasket will continue its two-year cycle until 2017 when it changes to four years in 2021. The Ukraine will host the next Eurobasket in 2015.

The board also decided to prolong the contract of FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak until 2016. It also approved a recommendation to elevate the recently deceased President Olafur Rafnsson to Honourary FIBA Europe member, posthumously.