Basket League mess deepens after controversial meeting
A crucial Basket League meeting took place on Wednesday, but despite the decision having been taken to start the playoffs on the weekend, it’s still completely unclear when action will resume again.
The ridiculous state of play in the Basket League continues. Today, representatives of all participating clubs came together in a vital meeting, but it didn’t run very smoothly. After it was decided to validate the 2018/2019 Basket League regular season standings, Olympiacos owner Panagiotis Angelopoulos stormed out of the meeting and didn’t return. Last week, Olympiacos made a court case against the final round of the regular season, revealing that not enough officials were present when referees for matches were chosen. The verdict is expected on Thursday, and if Olympiacos win the case, all games of the concluding round of the regular season will have to be replayed.
Olympiacos now want to take legal action against all Basket League clubs for illegally validating the standings when no decision concerning the court case has yet been taken.
The Basket League took the decision not to demote either Kolossos Rhodes or Lavrio. In accordance with its statement, the organisation feels Panathinaikos’ forfeited game against Kymi (which allowed Kymi to remain in the league and consequently relegated Lavrio) wasn’t fair for Lavrio, and it will now ask the Hellenic Basketball Federation to temporarily extend the league’s participant list from 14 to 16 for only one season. Four teams will then be relegated from the 2019/2020 Basket League season with two earning promotion from the second tier as usual.
All of these following decisions were taken by the Basket League in Wednesday’s meeting:
To request permission from the Hellenic Basketball Federation to expand the Basket League to 16 teams for one season. No team will be relegated this year, but four teams will be relegated after the end of the 2019/2020 season;
The final standings of the 2018/2019 Basket League regular season were validated;
Television rights will not be sold separately to each club and a committee will lay the groundwork for next season;
Changes should be made to the Refereeing Department after a meeting with the Hellenic Basketball Federation;
Penalties for offending club owners and league contributors should be stricter;
A final vote on all restructuring issues will be taken after the 2018/2019 season finishes.
These are the Basket League pairings for the playoffs which are now due to begin this weekend:
AEK (1) - Holargos (8)
Peristeri (2) - Ifaistos Limniou (7)
Panathinaikos (3) - Olympiacos (6)
Promitheas Patras (4) - PAOK (5)
This is the final, approved 2018/2019 Basket League regular season table:
The authorities are hoping that the Basket League playoffs begin on Saturday, but given Olympiacos’ stance on the situation and the fact they won’t play against Panathinaikos (their opponents in the first round) if Greek referees are appointed, it’s highly unlikely that the matches will even take place. The Basket League has flatly refused to accept Olympiacos’ request for foreign referees in their games with Panathinaikos.
If the mess is to somehow be resolved, someone has to back down, but there is little chance of that happening at this moment in time.
Olympiacos have been flirting with a move to the ABA League ever since the infamous Greek Cup semi-final against Panathinaikos in February which they abandoned at half-time. The Erythrolefki had called for the 2018/2019 Basket League season to end without playoffs, but all remaining clubs rejected the idea while accusing Olympiacos of blackmail.