The political war between FIBA Europe and the ULEB continues and national basketball federations continue to be caught in the middle of the fight. The organization has now evaluated domestic plans from 14 national bodies who were threatened with a ban from international FIBA run competitions.
Last month FIBA took drastic action in its bid to get European clubs to commit to its Basketball Champions League format, which is a direct competitor to the Euroleague. The governing body told national federations to pull clubs in line by punishing them for sticking with the ULEB run Euroleague. However, some federations refused to punish clubs and FIBA Europe took the surprising action of suspending national bodies from competitions such as the 2016 European championships.
The Slovenian Federation was banned from Eurobasket 2016, while 14 national federations in total were threatened with similar action. Those nations were asked to provide feedback with their plans for managing domestic clubs and FIBA has evaluated the responses at a meeting in Paris this weekend. In its response, the governing body said it was pleased with the efforts federations have made and said that it will now seek:
-To ask a number of national federations for further clarification on their responses.
-To request from the national federations and their members appropriate guarantees in accordance with the decision of the Board of FIBA Europe, including also all those whose leagues and/or clubs attended the meeting of ECA on 29 April.
-To suspend the recognition of ABA League, following recent developments in the former Yugoslavia region and after also taking into consideration feedback from the national federations in the region.
Despite progress and possible participating of national federations, FIBA still faces an uphill struggle to convince major European clubs to join the Champions League at the expense of the Euroleague. Most clubs have committed to the ULEB run Euroleague and Eurocup, so much so that when the 2016/2017 structure for those competitions was held this week, the following clubs attended:
Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia); Limoges CSP (France); ALBA Berlin, Brose Baskets Bamberg and FC Bayern Munich (Germany); Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens (Greece); Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (Israel); Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari, Dolomiti Energia Trento, Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan (Italy); Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius and Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania); Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland); CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Unics Kazan (Russian Federation); Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade and Partizan NIS Belgrade (Serbia); Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia); FC Barcelona Lassa, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, Real Madrid, Unicaja Malaga, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz and Valencia Basket (Spain); Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul and Fenerbahce Istanbul (Turkey).