By John Askounis/ email@example.com
Apart from clarifying that the situation in Greece doesn’t affect the EuroLeague, Jordi Bertomeu commented on the Greek Basketball Federation and its role in the conflict between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos OPAP during his meeting with the press on Sunday. The President, Chairman and CEO of Euroleague Basketball shared his take on why similar situations between the two Greek powerhouses don’t occur in the EuroLeague.
“The conflict between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos is of local interest, but we aren’t indifferent and neutral. I’m disappointed and feel its a shame for basketball that the Greek Basketball Federation, which for years paved the way for how leagues should operate, has failed to find a solution. In such cases, direct moves are needed, not passive behaviors that prove the inability to intervene effectively and find a solution. Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have a rivalry, which shouldn’t rise beyond basketball. Their coexistence in the EuroLeague hasn’t created problems, because both sides understand the environment and respect the rules. What is happening domestically is unthinkable. I wonder if anyone has anything to gain if Olympiacos is relegated.”
The President of the Greek Basketball Federation, Giorgos Vasilakopoulos didn’t react kindly to the above. He replied with a public statement released through the official site of the Greek Federation.
“The person who for many years has conspicuously and demonstratively ignored and underestimated the National Federations with his actions seeking their elimination, suddenly remembered to justify the internal problems of a league. The person that through his actions and practices divided and posed a dangerous threat to European basketball has the audacity to talk about interventions and finding solutions. The person who without shame targeted the National Teams and the domestic leagues seeking with his partners to degrade the former and shrink to the point of extinction the latter, dares to instigate others. The person who creates immoral dilemmas for the players on joining their National Team by setting games the same day, talks about extortion and lack of freedom. Mr. Bertomeu, unfortunately for you, we all know each other. Silence is better than words.”