Βy Kostas Ioakeimidis/ email@example.com
In a long interview in Rsport.Ru Andrei Kirilenko, the re-elected president of the Russian Basketball Federation, speaks also about the peculiar situation between FIBA and Euroleague, which, at least, for the upcoming season enters a cold war phase.
Russia is one of the few European countries which has teams in all three top continental competitions – Euroleague, Eurocup and FIBA Champions League – and despite the threat that even the national team may be excluded from FIBA competitions, because of clubs’ presence in Eurocup, no sanctions or any any action is expected in the near future. As Kirilenko explains: “Both FIBA And Euroleague, which has its own terms – in order to have teams in Euroleague you also must have clubs in Eurocup – they are acting aggressively. The situation will not change unless they reach an agreement. In the long term, due its status as the international basketball federation, FIBA has the advantage. Euroleague is a company, not a federation and there’s a conflict of interests between those two. We are also a federation, so when an order is issued from FIBA, we have to comply and follow it. Until now there’s nothing like that, only recommendations which we pass to the VTB United League and the clubs”.
That’s the status quo and it seems that it will not change until next summer, even if Kirilenko adds: “Until the start of the season we can’t be sure for nothing. I think that we will have the time to assess this new situation. Don’t forget that this is going to be the first season of Champions League. Maybe it will turn out to be a great competition and everyone would want to be part of it”.