Confusion reigns as Olympiacos edge towards possible Basket League exit
The Basket League Board of Directors held a crucial meeting on Monday, with Olympiacos’ future in the championship very much still in doubt as a hugely controversial regular season approaches its climax.
After forfeiting the Basket League Eternal Derby against Panathinaikos in March, Olympiacos had subsequently submitted an appeal against their punishment of a six-point deduction and a fine amounting to 11,000 euros, but it has since been rejected. In the lead-up to the match, Olympiacos requested for foreign referees to be appointed for the showdown, but the Hellenic Basketball Federation refused to cooperate. Olympiacos then forfeited the game in protest against the decision.
Olympiacos could forfeit yet another Basket League game. On Monday, it was confirmed referee Panagiotis Anastopoulos will take charge of the upcoming Olympiacos - Promitheas Patras battle scheduled for Wednesday in Piraeus, and the Erythrolefki had previously stated that they will not play in a game in which Anastopoulos is officiating. Anastopoulos was one of the referees for the abandoned Greek Cup semi-final between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos.
If Olympiacos do forfeit the match against Promitheas, they will automatically be relegated to the second tier of Greek basketball, meaning their season ends on Wednesday. The Piraeus-based organisation are preparing to move to the ABA League, but in order to join the championship, the rest of the clubs in the league must issue their consent. ABA League president, Igor Dodik, had this interview published on EuroHoops: “Olympiacos can join the ABA league, but only if the clubs gave their consent. We will discuss their request at the ABA League Assembly that will be held on May 24 in Banja Luka and then we will know if the club will be able to play in the ABA league. I think that for the ABA league it would be good to get a new market in every respect, but also for new audience. We all know that Olympiacos is a great European basketball team. However, I do not decide about it, the clubs are making a decision. Everything will be known after the meeting”, said Dodik.
However, in another twist, Olympiacos have appealed against the appointment of Anastopoulos by revealing that only two Refereeing Department officials oversaw the process of assigning referees for matchday 26. The law states that at least three officials have to be present. The appeal will take place on May 16, and if Olympiacos win it, all results of the final round of the 2018/2019 Basket League will be annulled and matches will be played again. There was the opportunity to postpone this week’s matches, but the majority of clubs asked for this not to happen as to not delay the championship.
Schedule for matchday 26 of the 2018/2019 Basket League regular season:
Panionios - Holargos (May 7)
Olympiacos - Promitheas Patras (May 8)
Aris - Rethymno Cretan Kings (May 8)
Lavrio - Ifaistos Limniou (May 8)
Peristeri - PAOK (May 8)
Panathinaikos - Kymis (May 8)
Kolossos Rodou - AEK (May 8)