By Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
The first casualties of war between FIBA and Euroleague are expected to be the referees. According to Eurohoops sources, FIBA is expected to act via the local basketball federation and ban to the referees who will officiate in Euroleague from the national leagues, during the upcoming season.
The idea behind this measure is that the referees in Euroleague are paid from the 16 teams which will participate in the competition and that may create a conflict of interest when they are assign in the games of those 16 teams in their domestic competitions.
For example a Spanish referee who will be part of the Euroleague, will not be able to call games of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa in the Spanish league, a Greek referee who will be also part of the Euroleague, will be banned from calling games of Olympiacos and Panathinaikos in the Greek league etc.
This is not a first. Also 15 years before, when Euroleague and FIBA had two rival competitions, the referees were forced to chose sides. It remains to be seen how things will play out this time around.