FIBA is disappointed that Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) has announced its 2017-18 Euroleague calendar which does not include the windows for national team competition in November 2017 and February 2018.
We were assured by ECA - in a letter signed on 10 November 2016 - that 'ECA rules do not prevent or limit in any way the release of players to national teams competitions.'
Consequently, today's decision clearly passes the responsibility for deciding whether or not to play for their national teams to the players themselves. This unnecessarily creates the potential for conflict between clubs on the one hand, and players and national federations on the other.
Being forced to choose whether to represent club or country places an unfair and unreasonable burden on players who should be free to achieve their best performance for both club and country.
FIBA wishes to highlight key facts that led to a situation which ECA could have easily avoided:
The calendar was designed after a global consultation process and will help grow our sport through the appeal of national teams playing at home and ensuring a pipeline of young and new talent in the years to come.