By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Partizan Belgrade president Ostoja Mijailovic is certain that the projected 2024-25 EuroLeague expansion will include both his club and fellow Serbian side Crvena Zvezda, especially considering how the two teams competed in the 2022-23 regular season against each other.
“If the Euroleague expands to 24 clubs, I’m sure there will be room for both Partizan and Zvezda,” Mijailovic told Partizan TV. “I think that would satisfy the Serbian public. We all have fans of both clubs in our family and we cannot be separated by colors. The interest of Serbian basketball is that we have two places in the Euroleague. Now we got them due to [specific] circumstances, but we showed Europe that we can function with two clubs. I received insults from our fans when we welcomed supporters of the visiting club to the derby, but we showed Europe that we can do it together. We lost as hosts, they lost as hosts and we all left the hall alive.”
Some of the games between Zvezda and Partizan on a domestic level over the last year have been quite eventful, to say the least: Fans hurling all sorts of objects and projectiles on the court, referees interrupting the games and demanding for the arena to be evacuated, along with some heated interactions between players.
Nothing like took place in the EuroLeague games between the two Serbian powerhouses even though they both suffer home losses to their archrival. Zvezda won in the first leg thanks to a buzzer beater by Nemanja Nedovic and Partizan prevailed a few weeks ago in another very close affair.
After the defeat of his team to the Serbian Cup Final, Partizan coach Zeljko Obradovic wondered why these matches are held without problems only in EuroLeague.
“It’s about respect,” Mijailovic added. “We can never love each other, cheer for each other, but there should be a minimum of respect. The year 2025 is very important for Serbia and Serbian basketball.”