By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems that controversy involving referees is always present in European basketball, no matter the level of the league.
Liege announced that they canceled the game versus Antwerp on October 28, 2023, for the BNXT, protesting about the refereeing criteria on the games. Per Liege, the calls favor native players against import players, and as a result in the BNXT playoffs, three import players of Liege fouled out in the same game.
The club believes that this trend is still ongoing, having so far a 1-1 record in the league, and issued the following press release which includes strong language.
This is short-sighted and theft by referees
Players’ performance requires them to be on the floor to contribute for which they are evaluated for next year. Excessive fouls diminish their ability to perform, deny them future income, and deny the government in all countries the corresponding tax revenue. Referees that are supposed to be neutral are disrupting the livelihood of the players and denying countries incremental tax revenue. It is unacceptable and uncalled for.
Liege decision to protest in the game against Antwerp is not coincidental. Antwerp was very vocal about US owner Ernie Cambo coming to bail out Liege of certain bankruptcy and filed multiple complaints against the team and his organization.
Cambo funds the team through a United States non-profit organization called Miami East Side Sports that helps men secure scholarships and jobs in basketball in the US and abroad. So far over 300 players have received scholarships through this program.