Andreas Zagklis: Basketball will come out stronger after the pandemic

2020-05-01T21:01:13+00:00 2020-05-01T21:02:13+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

01/May/20 21:01

Andreas Zagklis talked about the coronavirus pandemic, how FIBA’s helping and believes basketball will come out stronger in every aspect

By Eurohoops team/

FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis expressed his belief while talking to Greek ERT that basketball worldwide will come out stronger after the coronavirus pandemic has been dealt with.

“Nobody expected what was happening and we had to adapt to the new conditions. We need to be careful, this is a time when health is paramount and of course our love for basketball will come out stronger through this process and after the pandemic we will come back stronger and stronger as a sport.”

And that goes for every part of the sport as well as the relationship between various ‘fractions’: “I believe that basketball will be stronger after the pandemic, whether we are talking about spending cuts, or rationalizing the various projects that exist around the world. Or we are talking about any differences we have in the basketball family which we can now be put in a new context, now recognizing that we are fighting for 1-2 weeks of Windows and suddenly we are two months without events. I think all this puts the discussions for the next day in a new, better and healthier context. “

He noted that the pandemic will have different stages until and after the vaccine has been made but they won’t change the essence of the game: “The truth is that we will not change the nature of the game. We are facing a pandemic that will have different phases. We are still at the end of the first phase, where we are still playing defense, there is no doubt. And we need to look at the second phase, which is from now until the vaccine. We will not stay out all this time {until the vaccine is found} but we will have to adjust our activities. At this stage, like our leagues, whether it is called the NBA or the CBA in China, or we are talking about European leagues, there are no answers to all the questions. At this stage we go with our principles and the first of these is to protect the health of athletes.”

Zagklis also said that FIBA has been focused on helping everybody across the world and hasn’t forgotten about the lower profile leagues and players playing there:

“Passing to the daily life of our athletes, there are many difficulties, beyond the highest level we see on social media. You know that before I went abroad I worked in Greece as a legal advisor to teams and athletes, so I know very well what the daily life of an A2 (second division) athlete in Greece is and certainly is not the same as that of athletes who play in much bigger leagues. So there we are trying to help our national federations, listen to them and see what we can offer them in terms of support. First decisions we made in the Board. Europe, we have not stopped at all the granting of all financial assistance programs to all our Federations for this year. FIBA will absorb all the shocks this year for all basketball development programs. And in fact, although we will not have competitions, we decided that the grant for the teams that would participate in them, we will give them normally “.