By Aris Barkas/ barkas@Eurohoops.net
According to Siutat “We urge the EuroLeague to make available to international players the EuroLeague clubs, players we will call from the windows of November and February. We also call on the International Federation to ensure fair play between nations in order to allow France to defend its chances of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China at the Tokyo Games in 2020, a better preparation for the Paris Games in 2024. FIBA must act in order to help international basketball and not remain mired in this situation, in Europe, provoked for the most part by the company ECA which we ask to take into account the general interest of our sport”.
Siutat is referring to the fact that France in particular without the NBA and the EuroLeague players will have to present a weak national team in the World Cup qualification games. The president of the French federation also addressed the matter that more and more young French talent is leaving for the States, making it difficult for them to play for the French national team while also destroying the French model of producing talent. “We want to protect our know-how and we ask from FIBA to help and secure the preservation of our national teams”, said Siutat.
However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The French federation during the whole summer was in contact with FIBA and on the 18th of September send two letters to FIBA for those two matters. Eurohoops has obtained those letters which are using strong language with the French federation asking directly “the modification of the dates of the national teams games windows while waiting for a decision from the European Commission”. The French federation is referring to the legal case between FIBA and EuroLeague in the European Commission.
According to the French Federation’s letter, the financial loss is already 2 million euros, because the major basketball stars will be absent from the national team games, either because they play in the NBA or in the EuroLeague.
The French Federation also asked a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron on the matter.
The second letter includes a list of French young players who either left INSEP – the French program of developing talent – for the States and the NCAA and those who refused to participate in the national teams because they favored the NBA summer league or NBA draft workouts.
The French Federation asks from FIBA to be protected, protests for the accreditation of scouts and agents and raise concerns for the future of the French national team considering also the high expectations for the Olympic Games of 2024.