By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Few days after the controversial statements of Aziz Yildirim in a television show of NTV channel, the brass of Euroleague met in Greece. The president of Fenerbahce, who was convicted last July for football match-fixing, said last Thursday that in Euroleague “it’s a tradition for referees to receive presents by the host teams. Everybody is doing it and it can’t be considered match-fixing”.
This weekend in the island of Rhodes the annual Euroleague refereeing meeting was held. The objective was to inform the referees about the new rules changes and the way they should call the games after the last decisions made by the FIBA technical committee in cooperation with Euroleague. One of the main speakers was former Panathinaikos coach Zelimir Obradovic who decided not to work this season.
Of course, with every referee of Euroleague present in the Greek island, the main subject of discussion was Yildirim’s quotes about their visits in Turkey. What was easily evident was the discontent of Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu and of Euroleague’s director of referees. Costas Rigas. Those statements are considered by them slander towards Euroleague.
However, after a meeting by the two men, their decision is a “no comment” policy and no one will make any official statement about the matter. It’s not a coincidence that there wasn’t any mention for this matter by the meeting speakers not even towards the referees. The only thing that seems to be close to a comment was made by Rigas, who said to referees: “We trust you and we don’t believe in any of those things that we hear. We know who you are as persons and we expect from you to have good performances in the new season”.
It’s obvious that Euroleague is choosing the silent treatment on the matter of Yildirim’s quotes. There is only one possibility for this to change. If there are any similar quotes by anyone who is part of the competition by any capacity, then Euroleague’s policy should change on the matter.