By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis answered multiple questions during a virtual press conference held Monday. Reviewing 2021 and looking ahead to 2022 and beyond included an update on the ongoing talks with Euroleague Basketball.
“Our relationship with EuroLeague needs improvement,” mentioned 41-year-old Greek lawyer, “We took an initiative in the summer that got momentum. There’s additional momentum now with the EU resolution on closed leagues. I am optimistic.”
“We want to shape the leagues’ competition landscape. We don’t want to own it,” he claimed to share FIBA’s view on the future of European club competitions.
“We have very open talks with the EuroLeague and the NBA. However, there’s not a fixed vision in this matter,” he added, “We can’t afford being divided in basketball. If that happens, then young people will turn their backs on us and turn to Fortnite” or Netflix.”
“A missed opportunity for a demonstration of good faith from Euroleague”
Regarding the recent international window featuring 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Europe and the rest of the world, Zagklis raised the issue a missed opportunity.
“The November window was a missed opportunity for a demonstration of good faith from the EuroLeague,” he pointed out referring to the fact that the game between Monaco and ASVEL was not rescheduled in order to accomodate the French national team game. “In view of February the federations want to see more signals of good faith”, he added.
“It’s not true that we have discussed abolishing one of the two mid-season windows,” he also noted, “It was an idea that came up two years ago from Germany. However, it’s not so much a discussion about the number of windows but about principles.”
Coronavirus in basketball
In addition, Zagklis discussed FIBA’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and potential adjustments to be made in the future.
“We have a plan B for all events in case of more COVID variations,” he said, “We have already organized a lot of events in a bubble. We are not worried, but prudent.”
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL