By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Despite the decision of the 18 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams announced earlier by Euroleague Basketball, Zalgiris Kaunas does not plan to face Russian teams moving forward in the 2021-22 Regular season, as announced Friday.
Per Zalgiris: “The EuroLeague and 18 participating clubs held an online session, where they discussed the situation that has risen in Europe when Russian military forces invaded Ukraine.
After a session that lasted several hours, the EuroLeague announced information that the games that were supposed to take place in Russian territory will temporarily be moved to other countries, while the Russian teams’ games scheduled in other countries will go on as scheduled.
“As we said yesterday, our values aren’t changing – we don’t want to play with clubs from a country that is using military aggression and we this is a position that we suggested to the EuroLeague and its clubs. However, the league and its clubs leaned towards a smooth finish of the season,” – Zalgiris director Paulius Motiejunas did not hide his disappointment.
Euroleague’s decision to temporarily move Russian teams’ games to other countries still has to be officially confirmed, but the league is leaning towards a schedule and regulations set before the season.
“We don’t want to play the aforementioned games, and we agree to take on the minimal sanctions – losses of 0:20. We will be talking to the league and clubs about this, but we cannot agree that the league would punish us with monetary fines (EuroLeague regulations declare a fine between 100 and 200 thousand Euros for a single game) or dismissal from the league (a possible disqualification between 1 and 3 years). Values are important to us, but we do not want to take away the EuroLeague from our team, from our fans and from Lithuania, therefore we are not throwing ultimatums around and will continue discussions with the league and the club to find a united decision,” – noted Motiejunas.
According to the EuroLeague schedule, the green-and-whites were supposed to play CSKA Moscow on the 25th of March, with a meeting against Zenit St. Petersburg scheduled for the 8th of April.”
Photo Credit: BC Zalgiris Kaunas Twitter