Valencia, Virtus Bologna and Partizan prime candidates to take future open EuroLeague spots

2022-03-04T18:45:09+00:00 2022-03-04T18:45:09+00:00.

Aris Barkas

04/Mar/22 18:45

With the war between Russia and Ukraine still going, the scenario of a EuroLeague without Russian clubs is on the table

By Aris Barkas/

Since it’s inception, Russian clubs have been a critical part of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague on and off the court.

However, with the war in Ukraine not heading towards a quick resolution, the future of the competition may not include any Russian club and three EuroCup teams, which were already considered EuroLeague material, are the prime candidates to cover any open spot for the 2022-23 season.

EuroLeague started the 2021-22 season with three Russian clubs, which all turned out to be at least playoffs contenders. However, out of those clubs only CSKA Moscow has an A license. Both Zenit St. Petersburg (wildcard) and UNICS Kazan (EuroCup runner-up) have a one-year deal with the competition and unless things change dramatically in the near future, considering the current state of the world, it seems highly unlikely to keep their spot.

Valencia, Partizan and Virtus Bologna can qualify to the EuroLeague by reaching the EuroCup final, however, even if they don’t make it, the scenario of getting a wildcard and fill any likely open spots, is more that possible.

And while there are many steps to be taken until we get to this point, the ambitions of all three clubs is more than clear and they are widely consider “EuroLeague material” due to their tradition, resources and fanbase.

Until now, it seemed that one or even two of the three would get the short end of the stick for one more year. Monaco remains a candidate to keep one of the two EuroCup spots in the EuroLeague by reaching the playoffs. Plus, Zenit despite having a wildcard for one season, was also considered a very interesting project that was aiming to become a EuroLeague regular.

However, things have totally changed due to war and it remains to be seen what will be the future of CSKA Moscow.

While any decision about the Russian teams will include all of them, the A license of CSKA doesn’t include any provision about the current situation.

With that been said, if ultimately EuroLeague parts ways with the Russian clubs, then the two sides will be forced by necessity to found a formula.