In a shocking move FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin was sacked yesterday after the meeting of the Executive Committee which was called by FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson. This decision is a result of an ongoing friction between FIBA and FIBA Europe.
Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) Secretary General Mindaugas Balciunas, who is also a member of FIBA Europe Board, told to lrytas.lt that after the news reached the national federations, representatives of many countries flew to Munich in order to find out first hand about the present situation.
As we already reported, FIBA Europe is against FIBA’s proposal of reforming international competitions and leaving only one EuroBasket tournament in four years. Recently FIBA Europe rejected such proposal.
However, in his latest interview FIBA President Yvan Mainini clearly stated that the plan presented by FIBA is the best way for world’s basketball. The Frenchman already has the support of many non-European national federations. Though arguably the biggest and the most prestigious continental tournament, EuroBasket, has too much value for FIBA Europe and that’s what causes the differences between the two bodies.
Since the agreement between the two organizations appears to be impossible, the idea of separating FIBA Europe from FIBA surfaced. In fact there was a rather strong support from the Europe’s national federations for this idea. Nar Zanolin was also a proponent of separation.
FIBA Europe General Assembly, which is to be held next week, was supposed to vote for the separation from FIBA. The unity among FIBA Europe’s members was crucial, as explained by Balciunas. The decision to fire Zanolin shows that the voting could go either way as there are factions within FIBA Europe.
The possibility of bringing the case to the court is also considered since the firing of Nar Zanolin might not be performed in accordance with FIBA Europe’s internal regulations.
FIBA Europe is yet to issue an official announcement.