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Fiba Europe rejects Euroleague’s ‘effort to harm’ basketball

The European division of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has unanimously rejected the latest proposal from Euroleague Basketball over the calendar model for the sport on the continent.

A Fiba Europe board meeting discussed the matter and said that the Euroleague’s offer was an “effort to harm” European basketball stakeholders in the form of federations, leagues, clubs and players, while also voicing their concerns over the practices of the EuroLeague Commercial Assets (ECA) body.

Earlier this month, the world governing body confirmed it met with ECA and received three variations of an international calendar model, adding that the first of these was essentially a replicate of ECA’s proposal made in September of last year.

Euroleague Basketball had then issued a proposal calling for a 38-week club schedule running from October to June, with a six-week window for national team competitions in June and July. The proposal also called for a four-week period of complete rest for players in August, with preparation for the club season commencing in September.

Fiba stated that all three versions of Euroleague’s latest proposal set out to “relegate” national team activities worldwide to an annual six-week period between June and September, adding that this means national teams would not have the regular and consistent presence and traction throughout the year that is “paramount” to the global development of basketball.

Additionally, Fiba said ECA is conditioning any agreement on the calendar to the world governing body accepting a number of new points, which Fiba says directly impact the internal organisation of national federations and domestic leagues. At the time, Fiba said it would consult with federations, leagues, clubs and players about the ECA proposals.

In December, Euroleague Basketball said it was working on changes to its calendar designed to resolve the ongoing impasse between it and Fiba. As the organising body of the EuroLeague and EuroCup competitions, Euroleague Basketball has been engaged in a long-running battle with Fiba over the sport’s calendar in Europe and the release of players for national team competitions operated by the world governing body.