By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
The full message of coach Ettore Messina, which concerns the present and the near future of European basketball is the following:
Dear Friends of basketball, after many thoughts I decided to send a message to whoever will be willing to give me five minutes of his time.
I have been fortunate to live a long career in international basketball: My teams have competed with pride and respect for the game, under the guidance of FIBA, Euroleague and ULEB.
Even with disagreements and discrepancies at times, I always respected the leadership and the vision of the late Mr. Stankovic and Mr. Baumann.
I proud myself for being a longtime friend of Mr. Portela and Mr. Bertomeu, and, I have been honored to coach Mr.Van Den Spiegel, currently President of ULEB.
We are living in very serious and challenging times: The Governments of most of the European Countries have taken decisions centered on locking down the communities, or parts of them, to protect people from the Covid. Every week we have more players or coaches or club members who get positive to the tests, more and more games, in each country or in the international competitions, are postponed.
The difficulties in traveling internationally are increasing serious health concerns for teams and referees.
Soon there will be no dates available for playing the games postponed. More and more the sports results will depend on who will be more lucky, facing less infection in his team, compared to others.
For all these reasons, and with great humility, as a passionate fan of the game, I would like to ask our leaders to take a minute, put aside the different opinions that have separated them in the recent past and, for the good of basketball and its fans, sit at a table and do not leave until a common solution has been found.
As for now, the only logical choice seems to be to put on hold the European competition and allow the national leagues to finish their season in the next four months since in-country traveling will be easier. After that, maybe from March or April, all the International tournaments can be finished hopefully in times to prepare for the Olympics. And, maybe, the COVID will be limited or shut down by then.
Of course, televisions and sponsors will need to participate but a common togetherness founded by our leaders will surely help them to get on board.
The health of the participants and integrity of the competition are the priorities, and we’ll be thankful forever, as fans, to our leaders for their decisions.
With a lot of respect,