EuroLeague Basketball have opened disciplinary action against Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos regarding his comments made following the team’s loss to Fenerbahce last week.

The statement by EuroLeague is as follows:

Following the comments made on Saturday by the owner of Panathinaikos Basketball Club SA, Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos, on his Instagram account, Euroleague Basketball wishes to clearly and unequivocally state that it will use all available efforts to eradicate such behaviour from its competitions, particularly when addressing the most important pillar: the fans. It is the obligation of every member of the Euroleague Basketball family (management, players, coaches, officials etc.) to protect its fans and show the maximum respect toward all other stakeholders in the competitions.

Likewise, all Euroleague Basketball members, due to being public personalities, hold an enormous influence on fans and youth which must be exercised with the greatest responsibility. Despite understanding that rivalry and competition are at the centre of the European sports culture, competition organisations and governing bodies need to lead by example and always actively promote that these are understood within a framework of respect and good manners, ensuring that sport remains a bridge to unite people through passion, rather than to provoke confrontation.

Euroleague Basketball believes that the latest statements made by Mr. Giannakopoulos in his official Instagram account are of a maximum severity and they create serious damage to the image and reputation of the league and of all its clubs, including his own club, Panathinaikos Athens. The club has earned an elite international reputation over recent decades based on its performance on the court. That reputation should not be overshadowed by such unseemly behaviour from one individual, which is completely opposite to the values that the club and the league stand for.

The opening of a disciplinary proceeding against Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos has been requested before the Euroleague Basketball Independent Disciplinary Judge, who, following the pertinent enquiries, will issue a decision in the coming days.

Euroleague Basketball will further discuss the comments in an upcoming ECA Shareholders Meeting, where it will be evaluated whether further measures are to be taken.