Euroleague puts new global calendar plan to domestic leagues
Executives from Euroleague Basketball, the organiser of Europe’s top clubs competition, have this week met with officials from eight domestic leagues and the Union of European Leagues of Basketball, which oversees their interests, to discuss a proposed new global calendar.
The Euroleague Basketball proposal is set to be presented to FIBA, the international basketball federation, as part of efforts to resolve a dispute over clashes between Euroleague fixtures and national team games.
The meeting in Barcelona was attended by representatives of the leagues of France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain, the ABA Liga, which involves clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the United Basketball League, which comprises teams from Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Russia.
European basketball players have been forced to decide between turning out for national teams or their club sides after international games were scheduled in the same week as Euroleague fixtures following the introduction by FIBA of new windows in November and February, with many opting to stay with their clubs.
Euroleague Basketball said its new proposal includes provision for qualifying games for major national teams tournaments with the best players fully available in a period of six weeks per season, including two weeks of preparation.
This would complement a club competition season of 38 weeks, with players guaranteed at least five weeks of complete rest each year.
Euroleague Basketball said the objectives are “to allow professional clubs and national federations to promote basketball in a coordinated manner, ensuring the availability of all players for national teams.”
It added: “The domestic league representatives agreed that the global calendar proposal should be part of a wider agreement between Euroleague Basketball and FIBA based on cooperation, respect, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities, in order for each organisation to successfully promote and grow the sport of basketball.
“Among the topics listed for inclusion in such an agreement are the number and management of international competitions, requirements regarding player participation with national teams, youth-to-senior pathways and financial fair play regulations.”
FIBA and Euroleague Basketball have been embroiled in a long-running row over new national team windows, with the latter rejecting an October proposal to switch EuroLeague games scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays to the Tuesdays before in the weeks in question.
FIBA saw this proposal as a compromise after Euroleague Basketball maintained that it would not introduce gaps in its schedule to respect the windows, with the international federation itself moving European qualifiers from Thursdays to Fridays.