EuroLeague Players Association welcomes the decision of ECA Shareholders Executive Board to cancel Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season 2019/20, a necessary outcome which ensures health and safety to all stakeholders and allows everyone enough time to prepare in detail for next season.
ELPA is aware of the difficult situation European basketball is facing in these times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which deeply affected the sport we all love so much. In this new and unprecedented situation the players, clubs and EuroLeague Basketball management showed positive collaboration, necessary for steps towards a brighter basketball future.
Since the start of COVID-19 crisis, ELPA has been advocating for suspension of the league not only to ensure the health of almost 300 players of the league, but also the health of coaches, club professionals, officials, game workers, volunteers, media and fans attending the games all over the continent. Besides negotiating league-wide agreement on maximum salary cuts ELPA has been actively discussing and pointing to possible issues that resumption of the competition could bring to all stakeholders.
“What we have faced individually and globally is something unique and unprecedented. To cancel the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season was a hard, but correct decision and I would like to thank all involved for taking this difficult step. Health of players and other stakeholders, together with the integrity of the EuroLeague has been put as a priority and I feel proud to be a part of such organization. To all fellow players I would like to say that we should use this time to prepare the best we can for the next season. Let’s bring European basketball to the highest level it has been in terms of skills, competition and engagement. The future will be bright !”
– Luigi Datome, ELPA President
“We would like to thank all clubs and EuroLeague Basketball management for constructive debates and reasonable posture in this tough times. All stakeholders in this process have showed incredible desire to look for the most appropriate way out of this tough situation and to jointly seek opportunities for a better future of the sport that we all admire. I am proud of the way players reacted and I would like to personally thank them for their time, understanding, support and ideas that led to this outcome, which is extremely important to all of them. We realise extensive amount of work is ahead of us in preparation for next season and we will continue to be a constructive partner in many important discussions.”
– Bostjan Nachbar, ELPA Managing Director
Players’ shared desire is to start with basketball activities as soon as their current environment allows it. To majority of players, a full off-season will allow them to recover physically and mentally, prepare well and come back motivated to elevate the success of EuroLeague competition to the pre-pandemic levels.