By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) President Gianni Petrucci confirmed to “La Gazzetta dello Sport” that Segafredo Virtus Bologna decided to play in the 7DAYS EuroCup next season instead of the Basketball Champions League.
Petrucci was disappointed with the reigning BCL champions’ decision: “I’m sorry and disappointed. Nullifying a contract to play in the Champions League also next year, Virtus slapped both FIBA and FIP, which is a part in the reason of that agreement. One year ago, Bologna acquired a wild card with our mediation so as to re-join the cups. Only two months before winning the cup, and without the certainty of being able to participate there next year, Virtus acquired a second wild card. Along with that success, they cashed in a one million euros reward, but now they want to move to another table despite a signed contract”, he said. It has to be noted that Virtus Bologna joined the BCL via a wildcard last season and it’s the first time that a long-term contract is mentioned between the club and the competition.
Petrucci also added that a special council will convene in order to decide whether to withdraw their application to host the 2021 EuroBasket Group phase: This is a U-turn that darkens FIP’s image and causes a strong embarrassment for FIP in the worldwide context. So much so that next week I will convene an extraordinary Federation Council in order to evaluate a retreat of our candidacy to host a group of the next European Championship”, he said.
Despite not liking the move, Petrucci explained that they can’t do anything about it: “No, we cannot take measures against clubs for such incidents. I will not ask Virtus for anything, they are the ones to act with common sense. In this case, FIBA should think about protecting themselves.”