The president of the French basketball federation Jean-Pierre Siutat took stock of the arrival of closed leagues in European basketball, like what is happening with football.
While twelve major European football clubs have announced the creation of a Super League competing with the Champions League, European basketball had already taken the plunge in the early 2000s, with the creation of the Euroleague in conflict with the Federation. international. The conflict escalates again at the end of 2015, when the Euroleague plans from the 2016-17 season to switch to a semi-closed formula, on the model of the NBA, with eleven “franchises” each having a permanent license of ten years. She managed to attract the biggest European clubs, despite threats of exclusion from Fiba.
“It’s catastrophic what we experience (in basketball), said Jean-Pierre Siutat, president of the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), at the microphone of RMC Sport. And I find that interesting, somewhere, to see how football will manage this affair. I find it relevant that the heads of state, in governments which are members of the European Commission, react positively to defend European sport, with what we call the pyramids federal. It is a real danger, and I hope that what is happening will be useful for all the sports concerned. “
Siutat: “We can only suffer”
Two visions of basketball have clashed since 2015, between an essentially probusiness approach of the Euroleague (which manages the two main European basketball club competitions, the Euroleague and the Eurocup) in the American style, and the more traditional one of Fiba, which seeks to preserve a system in which access to continental cups is achieved through national championships. The conflict between the two authorities has continued ever since. The international selections are forced to compete in the international windows offered by Fiba without their NBA and Euroleague players, who are not released by their respective franchises and clubs.
“Either we go on a model of professional sport which is what we know in the United States with private leagues, and overall, the rest no longer exists. There is no more amateur sport. The training to access professional sport is entrusted to American universities, but in Europe it is academies, private structures that will manage training. The second option that in the European Union is to maintain European sport, with this pyramid system, the work of club training, competition with climbs and descents. And then to protect a bonus through sport and sporting results? It is a real subject of society. We can only suffer and we suffers more until the European Commission decides what will be the model of Europe. “