By Antonis Stroggylakis / email@example.com
Anadolu Efes coach Ergin Ataman characterized the decision of the Turkish Federation to terminate the 2019-2020 Turkish League as “hasty” and said that the organization acted towards that direction without making any prior “planning”.
“The decision of the Turkish Federation to not play the rest of the league in our country and declare the season null and void… I see it as a hasty decision, without working on a plan,” Ataman said to Turkish news agency DHA. “At this point, the basis of my criticism isn’t that the league isn’t played, but that the whole process of the management was done without working with any strategic planning.”
The 2019-2020 BSL was canceled on May 11 with Efes being at the top of the standings. No champion will be proclaimed and no relegation will be made since the standings will be validated only for the purpose of allocation of spots for participation in European competitions.
Turkey was previously the last country in Europe to suspend its basketball championship.
Efes issued a statement mentioning that the club respects the decision that the Federation took and the health is above any championship titles. Fellow Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Beko released a similar announcement in regards to the importance of health above team achievements, saying that they agree with the cancelation of the league.
While the season in Turkey is over, that’s not the case in other European countries that also feature EuroLeague teams. Ataman cited the German, Spanish and Israeli League as examples of championships that created formulas for the resumption of the season and mentioned that BSL could compose a similar plan.
“TBF, like some examples in Europe, could make a calendar to complete the leagues and review it according to the conditions that occurred when the date approached,” Ataman said. “I think that it will be a problem for the future of the Turkish basketball and the league organization that the clubs that invested during the season and always strive to be better are evaluated on the same page as the clubs that interrupted the investment in the mid of the season.”
Ataman also expressed his certainty that the EuroLeague will restart and be completed. Efes held first place in the standings when the competition shut down back on March 12.
“I firmly believed that the protocols that protect human health and the countries that aspire [to host the league] can play the rest of the season on July 4 – 26, within the framework of state guarantees and a previously studied plan,” Ataman said. Belgrade, Athens, Kaunas, and Cologne are among the candidates considered by Euroleague.
“I’m underlining once again that human health is more important than all kind of sports results,” Ataman added. “In this period, I think that we should continue our efforts with caution and confidence in every field in order to overcome the pandemic and reduce the negative air it creates, to take the necessary precautions, and continue the flow of life.”