FIBA Secretary General: on M. Grigonis’ situation, the future of the Russians in basketball and the transfer of the European Championship to Lithuania

A meeting of the FIBA ​​European Continent Board was held in Vilnius, followed by the Secretary General Andreas Zagklis shared thoughts on the work of recent days.

“We had good discussions for two days and made important decisions. These included decisions affecting Russian and Belarusian teams and national teams. It has affected many tournaments, as well as youth. We also discussed the work done in recent years during the pandemic. We are looking to the future, to the summer, which will be exciting in both adult and youth tournaments, ”said the Secretary General of FIBA.

– Some players have problems terminating contracts with Russian clubs, such an example in Lithuania is Marius Grigonis, from whom Moscow CSKA demands huge sums of money. How can FIBA ​​help players in this situation?

– FIBA ​​has had an arbitration tribunal for many years to assist in such situations. There we will have to follow the rules laid down by the court. If decisions are not made peacefully, we have formulas to follow. FIBA itself cannot interfere more with players’ contracts in other ways.

– What are the chances that we will not see Russian and Belarusian basketball representatives on the European basketball map not only in the coming years, but also for longer?

– I think it is important to focus on FIBA’s mission – to grow basketball. We can only control some things here – no politics. We express our solidarity with Ukrainian basketball and we will be prepared for the consequences that will be needed. Do we constantly monitor the situation, react and make appropriate decisions?

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– But would it be enough for Russia to end the war in Ukraine so that they can return to European basketball?

– I think it is speculation so far, there are a lot of questions in it. I think we have shown that we are united, in solidarity, ready to make bold decisions. I can’t say who will be, we’ll talk, we’ll talk. We care about the future of Ukrainian basketball.

– Is FIBA ​​ready to unite European basketball players in the future and help Ukraine rebuild its basketball infrastructure?

– We have made decisions about players who could get licenses more easily. We are also giving Ukraine the opportunity to host the European Championships. It was a great honor for us to see the representative of Ukraine, Volkov, in the Assembly. This is one of the topics we are discussing. We do not rule out such possibilities.

What is the chance to move the European Championship group stage from Ukraine to Lithuania?

– I think our priority is Ukraine. I don’t think it’s fair to speculate on this topic right now and talk about what would happen if they couldn’t accept the championship. Our priority is to give them a chance to host this tournament.

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