The respective basketball federations of Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain have signed joint statements asking EuroLeague to alter its calendar.
In a sensational twist to this seemingly never-ending war pitting FIBA vs EuroLeague, it seems that the latter, who had their request to change their international cycle denied by FIBA is now being told to change their league-style format that was implemented just last year.
Ingo Weiss, President of the German Basketball Federation; Andrei Kirilenko, President of the Russian Basketball Federation; George Vassilakopoulos, President of the Hellenic Basketball Federation; Giovanni Petrucci, President of the Italian Basketball Federation; Jorge Garbajosa, President of the Spanish Basketball Federation; and Hidayet Turkoglu, President of the Turkish Basketball Federation, issued the statement in which they agreed on the following, as first reported by basketa.gr:
A) The best EuroLeague players will be called in for the World Cup Qualifiers.
B) Said Federations will support the rest of European Federations in their attempt to include EuroLeague players in their national team rosters.
C) The Federations will request ECA to reschedule two EuroLeague game weeks, in November and February (out of a total of 37 weeks), during the Qualifiers game dates.
This announcement comes a few hours after FIBA had rejected EuroLeague’s proposal for the qualifiers windows and shows that the Federations will support their respective national teams.
More precisely, the announcement reads:
“We reconfirm the joint adaption of the new competition system of FIBA, which guarantees:
* The global development of the sport through national team competitions.
* The regular showcase of 80 national teams, throughout the calendar year.
* The decrease of the wear and tear factor by 26% per player globally during an Olympic cycle and providing more rest period.
We emphasize in the unique ability of national teams to bring fans together, lift up the sport and showcase new talents, as it was proved in the recent EuroBasket.
We feel disappointment towards ECA’s reckless stance, that makes marketing its priority, at the expense of the sport.
We worry that the actions of ECA will push players to join teams outside of Europe, like in the NBA and China.
We publicly recognize the players’ desire to play for their national teams.
We insist that the 213 Federations-FIBA members, along with their championships, will not fall for ECA’s financial interests, its pressure, and threats.
The statement concludes by saying that the EuroLeague have intended to extend their season from 24 games to a possible 37 in order to marginalise the international campaign.