By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
CSKA Moscow president Andrey Vatutin believes that that the 2019-2020 EuroLeague may be relaunched again around June and early July. Such a case will require an intense program with many games taking place in a short period of time.
“Almost all European teams have been disbanded because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Vatutin said to Izvestia. “It will take time to restore air connections between countries, players returning to the clubs’ locations, a short training camp. With an optimistic development of events, you can try to play all the games in June and early July while tightening the schedule. Moreover, most of the national leagues have already announced the completion of competitions.
If EuroLeague indeed resumes in June, then Zenit St. Petersburg, a first-timer in the competition, will be ready to compete at full strength according to president Alexander Tserkovniy.
“We are constantly in contact with the league. We are discussing various options for the development of events. We gave an opportunity to everyone who wanted to leave to return home but the players and the coaches who left are ready to immediately return to the club as soon as restrictions are lifted. If the need and opportunity emerge to finish the season in June, we don’t see any problems. Zenit will immediately respond,” Tserkovniy said.
On the other hand, Khimki Moscow general manager Pavel Astakhov doesn’t think that things will look bright enough for the season to begin again in June.
“Judging by what’s on the news, newly infected people appear every day in all European countries. Including Russia. “The situation is only getting worse,” Astakhov commented. “According to experts, the peak of the epidemic hasn’t passed yet. Therefore, I can’t imagine how the EuroLeague wants to finish the season. What if the championship can’t resume? It would be logical to keep all current participants. How can someone be excluded from the tournament or a new team be accepted if the 2019-2020 season hasn’t been completed.”
Khimki’s participation in the 2019-2020 EuroLeague was granted after the team advanced to last season’s VTB League Finals. The 2019-2020 VTB was canceled with, as of now, non-validated standings.