By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
FIBA announced yesterday that “Euroleague Properties, a subsidiary company of Euroleague based in Luxembourg, has filed a complaint against FIBA and FIBA Europe to the European Commission, alleging violations of EU competition law”.
While FIBA considers this move – one more – “act of war”, according to sources near the situation it was expected and it’s very similar to what happened in the case of the International Skating Union. Euroleague wants via this move to confirm that its club, players and referees will not suffer any sanctions by FIBA in the future. According to its regulations, FIBA can ban from its competitions anyone who competes in non-FIBA-approved leagues and the European Commission will study if this rule is against the EU competition law.
Of course, it’s without any doubt a move that challenges the authority of FIBA over European basketball and Euroleague had directly requested in the past for FIBA’s regulations to change on this matter. It remains to be seen how things will play out and which will be the verdict. Still, no one knows when there will be a verdict since there is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct.
FIBA so far officially denies that there will be sanctions for clubs and players who will opt for Euroleague. However, in many interviews all around Europe, many national federations’ presidents have stated that this is a possibility. Also, according to Eurohoops sources, many referees are already pressured to chose either FIBA or Euroleague competitions.