By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
VTB CEO Ilona Korstin explained why no champion was named following the league’s decision to cancel the rest of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Korstin mentioned that having a champion under the circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak that led to the cancelation, would be something “unfair” and “unsportsmanlike.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” Korstin said in an interview with RIA Novosti when asked if any awards will be given. “We don’t determine either the champion or the MVP. The season isn’t finished. It’s unfair and unsportsmanlike to determine a champion. We are in a situation where people are dying, where everyone is thinking about how to maintain their health. To get out of the crisis. And when all these disputes about the championship are going… it was strange to listen to all this. We voiced our point of view, we said that the sporting principle wasn’t respected, that the teams played an uneven number of matches, so we just summarized the results on the dates when the last match was played. But this isn’t the championship.”
The season in VTB was shut down completely with Khimki Moscow being at the top of the standings. Khimki forward Janis Timma characterized the cancelation by saying that, “You can’t throw out the season like that. His coach, Rimas Kurtinaitis was also critical of the fact that the standings weren’t validated.
“It’s a pity that we didn’t see the most interesting games of the season,” Korstin commented. “This year’s playoffs were promising to be the most exciting in the history of the league. We would have had an exciting fight and emotions and, possibly an unpredictable result. The Finals would be incredible. It’s a shame, but there was no other way. It was necessary to react quickly, it was impossible to delay, to force the clubs to keep players and pay them a salary while everyone is sitting at home. We made a decision and now we will prepare for the next season, in which, I hope, we will fully hold all games.”
Here’s what Korstin also said on:
Financial losses due to sponsorship agreements:
“Tens of millions of rubles. These apply to digital rights. Lagardere pays for a certain number of matches that we haven’t played this season. As for other companies, we are on a pause and trying to transfer to the next season those contractual obligations we didn’t have the opportunity to fulfill.”
Planning for the 2020-2021 VTB League:
“Unfortunately, in this regard, difficulties arise due to the desire of EuroLeague to finish the season. They create an incomprehensible situation. No one understands when and how they will do it. And this happens despite the fact that the situation is worse than ours in [the rest of] Europe. Although here, we must understand that Russia is behind Europe in the development of events related to the coronavirus. FIBA has already drawn up a calendar for all competitions and EuroLeague’s hasn’t been determined and this creates difficulties. We form the calendar when we have all the introductory ones so as to not overlap with other tournaments. Now, we are waiting for the EuroLeague, but in any case, our plan is to begin the next season in early October.
EuroLeague’s goal to resume the season:
“Honestly, the resumption of the season is, in my opinion, unrealistic. Of course, it’s the right of EuroLeague, they don’t want to lose money. But at the moment, it seems that all this is in the category of fiction. This situation leaves clubs in limbo. For our part, we acted honestly and responsibly, ending the season so as to not give false hopes, so that everyone had certainty. Euroleague doesn’t have this certainty and this forces everyone to wait for a miracle, which may not happen.”