Andrei Kirilenko: ” Russian Basketball Federation does not support the participation of Russian clubs in the European Cup. Our priority is national teams”

Russian basketball clubs may be suspended from the national championship in case of participation in the European Cup. This was announced by Russian Basketball Federation President Andrei Kirilenko, at the end of the joint meeting of representatives of the VTB United League and its clubs, the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

It should be noted that the Basketball European Cup is second most important club tournament held under the auspices of the Euroleague.

“We do not support the participation of Russian clubs in the European Cup, – the Head of the RBF noted during the talk with journalists. – In this regard, we have sent information to the VTB United League that the clubs participating in the European Cup will be disqualified from the national championship. Thus, we fully accept the position of FIBA.”

In March the European branch of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA Europe) informed all European national basketball federations that teams could be disqualified if their countries’ clubs participate in any other competitions but the Euroleague tournaments or tournaments held under the auspices of FIBA. Among those suspended from participation in tournaments under the auspices of FIBA ​​Europe, including the Eurobasket 2017, there are 14 men’s national teams. The reason was the participation of their countries’ clubs in competitions under the auspices of the Euroleague. Teams from Russia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Israel, Poland and Turkey got disqualified.

“The Russian Basketball Federation is part of the FIBA movement and, of course, our priority is our national teams, – said Kirilenko. – We will do everything possible so that Russian men’s and women’s teams could continue to perform in all international competitions representing our country. If this year our team will not take part in the qualifying matches of the European Championship, we risk not only to miss the next five years, but also the 2020 Olympic Games”, – said RBF President.

We would like to remind that according to the results of the draw, in Qualification for the 2017 European Championship the Russian National Team is to play with the teams of Sweden (7 September away, September 17 at home) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (31 August at the home ground, September 10 away).