5 October 2014
Alexander Zhukov: “It is necessary to elect new leadership of the Russian Basketball Federation”
President of the Russian Olympic Committee and a member of the International Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov expressed his opinion about the situation in Russian basketball:
“It is absolutely clear that the situation in Russian basketball is completely abnormal. In my opinion, the reason for the ongoing conflicts between the Federation, the clubs and the VTB United League is that there is no legitimate leadership in the RBF.
For example, all of a sudden the Federation decided to arrange unfair fee charges for the men’s teams, which caused justified indignation amongst the heads of the clubs. The sums demanded are unprecedented, and they probably may only be charged through a court decision. Another court, another scandal and turmoil again. In addition the performance of some of our clubs in EuroCups was threatened. And that is nonsense, because it turns out that our national federation is hindering its own clubs.
In my opinion, the RBF should hold a review election conference and choose new leadership, that would be respected by the whole basketball community, including the representatives of our leading basketball clubs.
It seems to me that everybody understands that now we should make a small step backward in order to continue to move forward all together. Olympic Games are fast approaching, and we have unfortunately missed the world championships. Our basketball teams still have a chance to play in Rio, but we have very little time to use this chance properly.
In this situation, with all those conflicts, it seems to me that it will be very difficult for the parties to come to an agreement. Therefore it is necessary to act firmly. Holding an election conference is an internal affair of the RBF, the Olympic Committee has no right to interfere.
The federation has its Charter, where they can find instructions on how conference is convened. They also have the Executive Committee, which is to make a decision, set the date, hold legitimate elections so that in our basketball a real head would appear, and then I’m sure everything will be fine”.