Russian basketball teams banned from EuroLeague next season

russian teams have been suspended from playing in EuroLeague basketball competitions next seasondepending on the country invasion of ukraine, the organizers announced on Thursday. The invasion, which Moscow says is a “special military operation”, led to logistical problems, Euroleague said.

“The decision is made due to the increasing difficulties for teams to play matches against teams from this country, which include restrictions and bans on air travel or other limitations on the issuance of visas to Russian residents,” he said. said the Euroleague board in a statement.

basketball euroleague organizes the two best continental competitions for men’s clubs, Euroleague and EuroCup. The 18-team league had three Russian participants last season: Until recently, CSKA Moscow were allowed to participate in the EuroLeague on a long-term license while UNIC Kazan and Zenit St. Petersburg competed on a one-season/wildcard basis. Their results were canceled after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The organization previously suspended Russian teams from its leagues and froze its sponsorship deal with Russian bank VTB for the 2021-22 season in March. CSKA and Maccabi Tel Aviv were the only two clubs to vote in favor of including Russian teams in next season’s EuroLeague competitions.

CSKA President and CEO Andrey Vatutin said he was disappointed with the decision. “It’s a political decision. Most Euroleague clubs are convinced that the governments of their countries will not allow them to play against Russian teams. I’m sure there are no winners here. By the way, Jordi Bertomeu also noted that this is a forced political stage, from which everyone loses, and the league was stronger with CSKA,” he said in a statement.