Balciunas: FIBA reform is done with closed eyes

FIBA’s decision to reform the international basketball calendar received controversial reactions from the parties that will be affected by the changes. Mindaugas Balciunas, Secretary General of Lithuanian Basketball Federation made a public statement criticizing the new competition format.

‘It is obvious that the system needs to be reformed, new ideas of carrying out competitions are needed so that we could attract new markets, viewers, television.

‘Though everything must be analyzed very thoroughly, when such cardinal changes are done. FIBA declares that their reform is decided by the aim to strengthen the prestige of the World Basketball Championship, to give the opportunity for the national teams to play more home games, to involve more teams to the main tournament.

‘All of that sounds good and nice. But it must be noted that it will be very difficult to implement these plans. Euroleague and ULEB opposed the reform, FIBA Europe voted unilaterally that such reform is unacceptable to our continent. NBA didn’t even discuss this issue.

‘Will anyone be interested in a competition where teams will play with their second squads because there will be no NBA or Euroleague players?

‘It can be said that the reform is done with closed eyes. FIBA hired fromer FIFA and UEFA experts, that’s why football model is blindly copied. I’m not sure if this path has a future?

‘Lithuania and some other major basketball countries are fighting in international arena for some things, because we think that the reform is being carried out with involving key participants and giving no regard to their opinion.’