By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Turkish BSL League was suspended along with every other pro championship in the country, the Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Kasapoglu announced. BSL was previously the only basketball league in Europe that was still being played amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kasapoglu had met with presidents of the soccer, basketball and volleyball federations earlier on Thursday to discuss how the coronavirus outbreak in the country has impacted the professional leagues. In the end, it was decided that the leagues should be postponed. The duration of the suspension will be determined at a later meeting.
Over the last week, prominent BSL players and coaches have spoken in favor of the championship shutting down. Anadolu Efes star guard Shane Larkin uploaded a message on social media stating that “it’s not safe enough” to just hold the games behind closed doors and asking “why the Turkish League is continuing to play.” Fenerbahce Beko guard Bobby Dixon tweeted “Health is the most important assets we have! Do the right thing!! The risk is not worth it.”
Efes coach Ergin Ataman expressed his hope for a postponement following the win of his team over Bursaspor. It was the last game before the suspension. Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic had mentioned that “it’s very difficult to talk about basketball” after his team beat Tofas Bursa.