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[ Oct 21, 2020 ]

Statement by Zeljko Obradovic, President of EuroLeague Head Coaches Board (EHCB), to all Basketball fans

BELGRADE, SERBIA. 21th of October 2020.

Health stands above everything and is not negotiable in these difficult times.

Euroleague Head Coaches offer their support to come to the best possible solutions for the competitions.

COVID 19 affects all parts of life. It costs peopleĀ“s life every day now around the globe. Basketball and all participants of Euroleague competitions are of course affected as well and we all suffer equally. This pandemic makes us all humble and helpless at times but we are full of hope.

We are standing at the side of all people and families who suffer from COVID and wish them a speedy recovery. We are glad that our friends and colleagues Dimitris Itoudis and Sarunas Jasikevicius have recovered so far and we wish Xavi Pascual, our players, the officials and the clubs staff infected a speedy recovery.

On Monday evening the members of EHCB met for hours via videoconference to update each other on their experiences, to analyze the current situation and to discuss potential suggestions. It has expressly stated that the previous statements of its members were all oriented towards maintaining the fair play of the competition in the best possible way.  All our members are part of the Euroleague competitions and try to do something good in those difficult times.  We want to do good to our players, fans and Euroleague and also to help each other in every possible way.

We strongly believe that the health of all people and stakeholders involved in the competition of Euroleague stands above everything and is not negotiable.  We believe that these difficult times of the COVID pandemic will pass and we ask our fans to be patient, supportive for the players and those that attend games in the arenas to strictly follow the medical protocols.

We appreciate the fact that Euroleague works hard to continue with the competition under these challenging circumstances that are changing on a daily basis. We are aware that the current situation creates fair play problems. This is why we as leaders offer our support to Euroleague to work together to optimize the rules and come to decisions the most suitable and flexible way possible.   We are certain that in these days there cannot be prohibitions to think. We expect and offer our voice to be heard and we support our members to think out loud and to be vocal. These unprecedented times need new approaches and might require tough decisions to meet our joint responsibility for health and fair play at the same time. We welcome the latest changes the ECA board took on the 19.10.2020 adjusting the modification of the EB special regulations due to COVID 19.  This is why we as EuroLeague Head Coaches offer our knowledge and experience, our courage and our love for the great game of Basketball. We are certain that this is what millions of fans and supporters expect and deserve from us. We do not come to the table with concrete proposals, but we have suggestions to make and we have opinions on the medical protocol for example.  As all the fans and supporters of our teams we are keen to come back stronger.  The biggest win for all of us now will not be to win the EuroLeague trophy but when all arenas will be filled with maximum capacity again.

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