Conflict between FIBA and ABA still without a solution

Although we have entered into the month of June, conflict between FIBA and ABA league is still without a solution in sight. This Gordian knot, which have been implicated FIBA, ABA league and the clubs that are competing, then the ULEB, Euroleague, the company „Sidro“, as well as the national federations from the former Yugoslav space, conflicting parties are tying to unravel since April.
It all started in the beginning of March, when the news detonated like a bomb – FIBA does not recognize the ABA league, a full member of the ULEB, in whose hands is the organization of all European club competitions. FIBA have announced serious sanctions and the most drastic among them is the suspension of the national teams from the championships which are under the auspices of FIBA.
In the background of this conflict is FIBA’s desire to restore the Euroleague under their wing, which is controlled by ULEB since 2000. The weakest link of ULEB is certainly the ABA league and it is logical that it is the first to be affected. As the main reason they stated disagreement with a general rules of the contest statute and an ordinance of the Federation. The decision of FIBA has also influenced the status of the referees, because the referees are under auspices of FIBA.One of the most important items is the ownership structure of the league. Also, FIBA insists that the clubs qualifying for the Euroleague trough the national leagues, not like last couple of seasons – over a private ABA league.There are many unpleasant questions that have been asked to the league owners, who recently clashed with each other, which is just one in a row of absurdity. No one with certainty can not answer whether it is Roman Lisac general manager of ABA Sidro or the ABA league, or Josip Bilic is the director for the competition of ABA league or ABA Sidro and which presides Radovan Lorbek – whether ABA, ABA league or ABA Sidro?
The solution to this conflict is reflected in the fact that clubs take control and ownership structure of the league, according to the agreement reached in Belgrade clubs would have inherited 80% of the ownership. However, management has recently tried to lay hands on 33.33% of votes, or 13.33% more than what they have.
Beside this,  many of the rules which in the past posed the ABA league, were never respected. In order to take over places in the Euroleague from the national leagues (Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian) heads of ABA league in 2008 after the Euroleague Assembly in Turin, promised that Serbia will get one A license.According to then applicable scoring system, Partizan was supposed to gain A license. However, since then, Partizan had to fight every season for a place in the Euroleague. Partizan was discredited by the ABA league last year also, when they won their place in the Euroleague qualifications, but they didn’t found their place in a draw. The invitation has received Levski, although they have never participated in the ABA league until this season! Couple years ago, the Bosnian representative Igokea suffered, when the league changed their own rules during the competition.
The fact is that clubs from former Yugoslav space are in need for regional league for the sake of the quality, which is significantly higher compared to the weak domestic competitions. The fact remains that the fundamental changes are necessary in order that league survives. Time is running shorthand solution is still not in sight.


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