The French clubs return to EuroCup and the 18-club EuroLeague

2017-02-19T12:30:27+00:00 2017-02-19T12:32:20+00:00.

Aris Barkas

19/Feb/17 12:30

Two French clubs will play in next season’s EuroCup. The decision is made by the LNB league, despite the wishes of the French basketball federation.

By Aris Barkas/

According to a report by “L’Equipe” during the Leader’s Cup, the clubs decided on Saturday to approve the “potential return” to EuroCup.

The French basketball federation is one of the most vocal supporters of FIBA’s Basketball Champions League and the French clubs were not allowed to compete in EuroCup this season. However, even they are threatened with a ban from the French national competitions in case they join the Eurocup, they are ready to react as a whole and support the clubs which will be chosen to play in the EuroCup.

As Martial Bellon, president of Strasbourg which is currently competing in the Basketball Champions League, said to “L’Equipe”: “The clubs decided to take again their fate in their hands. We have asked from FIBA and EuroLeague to continue their talks. However we have also decided that two French club will play in the EuroCup. And Alain Beral (ed.note: the president of the league) confirmed to us that we will have two spots in the EuroCup”.

Playing in the EuroCup is the pathway that leads to the EuroLeague and if a club wins the trophy, then they also get a ticket to Europe’s premier club competition. However according to Bellon even a spot for French clubs directly to EuroLeague can be a possibility in the near future: “For now this can’t be done, but it’s possible if the EuroLeague expands to a 18-clubs format”.

The Italian club also took the decision to return to EuroCup and that leaves Greece, Turkey and Serbia as the only major European basketball countries without EuroCup teams, at least for the time being.