Scheduling problems creating ABA League headache for Olympiacos
After their relegation from the Basket League, Olympiacos’ future is continuing to look rather uncertain, with the club highly unlikely to be granted entry to the ABA League for the 2019/2020 season.
In accordance with ESAKE regulations, Olympiacos were relegated to the second tier of Greek basketball after forfeiting three matches against Panathinaikos in the 2018/2019 campaign. In February, the Erythrolefki had walked out of the Greek Cup semi-final in protest against the officiating, subsequently revealing that they wouldn’t play against their arch-rivals again if foreign referees weren’t appointed. A threat which Olympiacos went through with.
Olympiacos have long made their intentions of joining the ABA League very clear. However, in a huge blow to the Piraeus-based organisation, the chances of transferring to the Balkan championship are slim.
If Olympiacos join the ABA League, the championship will be expanded to 14 clubs, and this would disrupt the schedule of all leagues in former Yugoslavia countries. FIBA has already asked for all championships to complete their respective seasons by June 12 because of the Olympic Games, and this wouldn’t be possible if there was an expansion to the ABA League. As a result, there is an extremely low chance of Olympiacos of being granted entry to the championship.
Olympiacos will play in the 2019/2020 EuroLeague whatever happens. The youth team is expected to compete in the Greek second division instead of the seniors.
Panathinaikos president, Manos Papadopoulos, recently stated that the Athenians would withdraw from the Basket League if Olympiacos were allowed back in the league after being demoted to the second division.