Euroleague announced the early completion of the season 2019/2020. In a press release on the official website of the organization notes that the health and safety of players, fans, staff in the unstable epidemiological situation remain a priority. The decision also motivated by the fact that a shortened training camp schedule, compared to previously approved at least three weeks can cause increased risk of injury among players. The season was completed ahead of schedule without declaring a champion. Similarly, in the European Cup.
The regular championship of Euroleague — 2019/2020 was suspended on 12 March due to pandemic coronavirus. After 28 games in the standings was the leader of the Turkish “Anadolu Efes” (24-4). CSKA (19-9) took fourth place, “Khimki” (13-15) were in the zone of the playoffs in seventh place, “Zenit” (8-20) held the last, 18-th position.
The statement of the press service of the Euroleague also notes that the clubs that played in the season 2019/2020, retain their places in the Euroleague and the Eurocup for next year. Thus, in the campaign-2020/2021 in the Euroleague will again perform three Russian clubs — CSKA, “Khimki” and “Zenith”. “Lokomotiv-Kuban” and UNICS will continue to play in the European Cup. The next Euroleague season will start on October 1, European Cup — September 30.
The Euroleague President Jordi Bertomeu was keen to resume the season 2019/2020. First and foremost, the Spaniard wanted to minimize the financial losses after fulfilling all obligations to sponsors. A few days ago it seemed that Bertomeu will be able to push its position, however, the picture changed on Saturday. Euroleague held a conference call with the players. On its results it became clear that the vast majority of players strongly against the resumption of the season in July. The exact figure is unhappy with the possible restart is not known, but the European media and insiders reported a large number who do not want to play this summer. We can assume that at least 90% of the performers did not show the slightest eagerness to return to the floor. The word of the players was not the determining factor, however, Bertomeu just had no choice but to listen to them.
What can be said on the details of the decision? First, the champion will not be detected. “Anadolu Efes” had an impressive year, but real Madrid, Barcelona or CSKA could beat the charges of Ergin Ataman in the Final four. Yes, and originally conceived the format of the “Final eight” “Ephesus” was threatened with relegation already in the quarterfinals. For example, the compatriots from Fenerbahce.
The preservation of all participants for the season-2020/2021 also seems logical. The season did not take place, so spending some change wrong from a sporting point of view. Russia will again be represented in the Euroleague with three clubs. CSKA for their place in the tournament wasn’t worried because it has a license A. “the Army” can break up with who haven’t justified expectations Costa Porto Koufo, Ron Baker, Darsanam by Hilliard and build a new team around Mike James, if the American will remain in the team (the probability of such a scenario is quite high). Center of Olympiacos Nicola of Milutinov — possible beginner of CSKA.
In “Khimki” and “Zenith” does not have a license And, therefore, the club management waited for the decision of the Euroleague with impatience. Depends on the formation of the budget for the next season. Well, the Euroleague announced the composition of participants right now. “Khimki” and “Zenith” can purposefully prepare for the summer transfer campaign. Priority of “Khimki” should be the extension of the contract with defender Alexei Shved. “Zenit” will try to improve the result of the regular championship 2019/2020, conducting the first full offseason under the guidance of head coach Xavi Pascual. “Blue-white-blue” is credited with interest in some of the star players of the Euroleague, in particular point guard of Panathinaikos nick Calathes. But yet to talk officially about any personnel changes at CSKA, “Khimki”, “Zenith” and any other European club too soon. The free agent market opens July 1.
The decision of Euroleague to terminate the season will not please all fans, however, should take into account the objective reality. The situation with coronavirus in European countries is different. The players themselves don’t want to go to the site because there is an increased risk of injury. At stake are not worth a huge financial loss in the NBA, which expects to return in the summer. In addition, degrove season in July could lead to a shift of the usual time the next world Cup. Now, the Euroleague decided to start a campaign-2020/2021 1st of October, around the same time every year.
Basketball fans in the summer will not be able to enjoy the game at the highest level in the arenas of the Old world. However, the full “hunger strike” is not expected. Season of VTB United League finished ahead of schedule, but the Spanish League is going to finish in June or July. To see the battle of real Madrid and Barcelona in the fight for the title is always interesting. Germany has already made the schedule of plays in June. The Euroleague will have to wait until the fall. Unpleasant, but not going anywhere. Pandemic coronavirus broke a lot of sporting events, including not allowed to play the strongest club tournament of Europe in basketball.