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Mutko: RFB is mature, capable of settling issue with FIBA jointly with counterparts

April 16, 17:29 UTC+3
FIBA has disqualified 14 national men teams as those teams had participated in the EuroLeague competitions
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Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Vladimir GERD/TASS

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. The Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) is a quite mature and experienced organization, which can, jointly with counterparts from European federations, settle the issue of disqualified national teams, imposed by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Saturday.

"Of course, it is not pleasant where international federations, which are involved in promotion of a kind of sport, in protection of athletes, are taking decisions not in line with their core objectives," he said. "The track and field, the doping cases... This is applicable not only to Russia, but also to all European countries. But, I believe, our federation is mature enough to have consultations and to offer jointly with the European counterparts their common position."

"I am saying once again, now it is the responsibility of the Russian Basketball Federation as a member of FIBA, it should be having its own positions there. Recently, the country’s president spoke about it during the annual televised Q&A session - it is necessary to improve the international relations and positions. That was an address not to the government, but exactly to the federations, to OCR (the Russian Olympic Committee)," he said. "And the state represented by the sports ministry is ready to assist in it all."

FIBA has disqualified 14 national men teams as those teams had participated in the EuroLeague competitions.

In summer 2015, FIBA terminated a contract with EuroLeague for season 2015-2016 and announced two new tournaments. In November, the information was EuroLeague would be reformed in the new season and the number of participants would get down to 16 teams.

In early March, ten European national leagues entered agreements with FIBA on establishment of a Champions League. Those countries are Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.

On March 20, Russia’s VTB league announced it had entered a three-year agreement with EuroLeague.

Earlier, Russia has been suspended from international competitions. In late July, 2015, FIBA announced sanctions against the Russian Basketball Federation - all national teams were disqualified due to the non-transparent management as the federation elected Yulia Anikeyeva its head. Later on, FIBA allowed the national team to the European Cup, and then lifted the disqualification off the Russian Basketball Federation.

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