MIES, Switzerland (Basketball Champions League) – On Wednesday 2 March, 10 European domestic leagues and the Union of European Basketball Leagues (ULEB) officially signed up to be part of the Basketball Champions League, an innovative 50-50 joint partnership between FIBA and European basketball leagues.
The signature ceremony took place at the House of Basketball, FIBA’s headquarters on the outskirts of Geneva. The 10 signatory European domestic leagues were Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.
As a result of Wednesday’s historic event – which opens a new era in the relationship between national federations and leagues in Europe and is fully in line with FIBA’s vision of integrating all stakeholders – an independent and separate legal entity based in Switzerland has now formally been established and will be in charge of both organising and commercialising the Basketball Champions League to the highest professional standards.
The 18 representatives of leagues and national federations present elected the Basketball Champions League’s first Board of Directors. It consists of: Alain Beral, President of France’s national league; Stefan Holz, Managing Director of Germany’s national league; Georgios Chalvatzakis, President of Greece’s national league; Marcin Widomski, President of Poland’s national league; Harun Erdenay, President of the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF); Cyriel Coomans, First Vice-President of FIBA Europe; Kamil Novak, FIBA Executive Director – Europe. In this first phase of the Basketball Champions League, the Chairman of the Board of Directors is Markus Studer, FIBA’s Chief Operating Officer, formerly a UEFA Deputy Secretary General and member of the Founding Committee of the UEFA Champions League.
The newly-elected board is focusing fully on the organisation of the competition, the hiring of necessary staff and benefiting from the know-how of the Basketball Champions League’s shareholders as required.
The shareholders also took note of the developments in other domestic leagues and will continue holding discussions with them and their clubs, provided they share the common vision of protecting national championships and supporting national teams.
The Basketball Champions League will officially be launched on Monday 21 March in Paris, France.