French Basketball Federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat has called for FIBA to modify the international windows as he urged the EuroLeague to release players for competition.
Siutat is worried that the national team, in particular without the NBA and the EuroLeague players will have to present a weak national team during the World Cup qualification games where they face off against Belgium, Russia and Bosnia & Herzegovina in a challenging group.
In the back of Siutat’s mind, he is now thinking ahead to the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be staged in the French capital of Paris.
“We urge the EuroLeague to make available to international players the EuroLeague clubs, players we will call from the windows of November and February,” Siutat said.
“We also call on the International Federation to ensure fair play between nations in order to allow France to defend its chances of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China at the Tokyo Games in 2020, a better preparation for the Paris Games in 2024.”
Meanwhile, fresh off their bronze medal at Eurobasket, FEB president Jorge Garbajosa has said that EuroLeague players will be made available for the upcoming qualifiers where they will play Montenegro, Belarus and Eurobasket champions Slovenia.
But in Spain, with the exception of its NBA stars, players that are called to international duty have to report or face sanction.
“As always, we will form the best selection possible and it will include players from EuroLeague,” says Garbajosa, as first reported by Spanish outlet As.
“The Euroleague has said publicly and privately that they do not intend to stop the competition and that players are free to decide where they are going to play.”
While Garbajosa is focussed on the national side, Albert Soler, the general director of the Barcelona sports sections and former Secretary of State for Sport has a different view and states that the players that play for Barcelona must think about their club duties first.
“The top priority of all our players is the club and not the national team,” said Soler, during the introduction of new signings Adrien Moerman and Kevin Seraphin.
“The law is not the same in all countries”, explained Soler.”There are countries in which the players are forced to play in the national team and in others, there’s no such law. In Spain, they are forced to go if they are called and therefore there’s a problem we have with the Spanish players since they have to follow our Sports Law.
“We hope that the Spanish Federation, FIBA, and the Euroleague will not leave the burden on the players and the clubs if he or she does not go to the national team. Especially because if they refuse, they can be sanctioned. Still, there is no decision on what will happen when that time comes.”