By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis met remotely with the media at a press conference that addressed everything that happened last year and also talked about the expectations for 2023.
However, one of the main topics was the recent meeting between Andreas Zagklis, EuroLeague president Dejan Bodiroga and EuroLeague CEO Marshall Glikman.
Zagklis confirmed that the meeting was good, but not productive. As he explained: “I must say that the situation inside the EuroLeague is not allowing us to progress”.
For Zagklis the issue is that there’s not a unified position from the EuroLeague on the issue of the scheduling conflict and the possible collaboration with FIBA: “Yes, we met and it was a good meeting, but at this point, we have not progressed. The ambiance is good and we also have the feeling that FIBA is ready and open but we are making an effort alone for 18 months. We changed the dates of the November windows to accommodate the national teams and the players, however, from the other side we have seen only some games being rescheduled. We are happy about those changes and I want to thank everyone that made them happen. Right now in the EuroLeague, there’s a clear majority and a minority in the decision-making process. We are not expecting anything to change in the upcoming February window, we have included everyone involved in our meetings which included also the NBA and we are still waiting for some progress”.
What the FIBA secretary general means is that there’s still an open debate inside the EuroLeague on the issue and while under Bodiroga there’s the will to find a solution to the issue, there’s no consensus yet on the matter from the club/shareholders of the EuroLeague.
Andreas Zagklis explained that at this point it’s not clear to FIBA what the EuroLeague clubs want: “What we need is alignment in the strategic objectives, so we need to know what those elite clubs want and see if it is compatible with what the other clubs, leagues, and federation want. I think we first need to see what those plans are and if there are compatible with what we want to do. However, for very important issues like the calendar, there must be a minimum agreement and this is easy. They could have games on Tuesday and then have openings for the windows. There are easy, quick solutions and I am really concerned when I read that EuroLeague games may change due to the FIFA World Cup for audience reasons and there’s no change for the FIBA windows”.