Andreas Zagklis: “We won’t send our players where we wouldn’t send our children”

2020-04-23T10:29:34+00:00 2020-04-23T10:32:33+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

23/Apr/20 10:29

FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis shares his early view on getting basketball back on track.

By Eurohoops Team/

With basketball on hold worldwide, FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis talks to AS about safety goals necessary for any decision to resume action.

“FIBA has been clear from day one when we suspended our international competitions,” he pointed out, “Our priority is the health of players and everyone else involved.”

This summer’s international competitions were canceled by FIBA, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 EuroBasket was moved to 2022 focusing next summer to the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments and the Olympics.

“We are a contact sport, a team sport, and a sport that attracts many fans, mainly indoors,” said Zagklis, “We won’t send our players where we wouldn’t send our children. Beyond the symbolism, we must think twice about a decision to resume action.”

Following safety guidelines implemented and working from home, FIBA officials are considering various routes while prioritizing health safety for players, coaches, and fans.

“Our job is to ensure basketball comes out stronger from this crisis caused by the pandemic,” noted Zagklis, “We are a sport that can be adapted to all situations. We have a 3X3 format more flexible and easier to organize. Our experts estimate that 3X3 at the national level will be the first basketball activity to resume. It involves fewer players.”

“The biggest challenge is how we are going to adapt until the vaccine,” he added, “We will be back sooner and stronger. The basketball virus is stronger than coronavirus.”