FIBA Europe General Assembly convenes in Vilnius for 2022 session
VILNIUS (Lithuania) - The 2022 session of the FIBA Europe General Assembly, the first session to be organized only in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, convened in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Saturday, May 21.
The annual event, which brings together all European member federations of FIBA, was chaired by FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel, with FIBA President Hamane Niang, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Executive Director Europe/FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak and members of the FIBA Europe Board in attendance.
The Lithuanian Basketball Federation, celebrating their 100th anniversary, were the hosts of the event and the Federation President Vydas Gedvilas opened proceedings by welcoming delegates.
In his speech, Mr. Demirel thanked all national federations, officials and staff for their hard work during the two years of the pandemic. The FIBA Europe President reminded delegates that the European basketball community acted swiftly and demonstrated solidarity during this challenging period; finding its strength in times of adversity while being forced to take some very difficult decisions for the sake of integrity and safety of European competitions.
Mr. Demirel pointed out the importance of the upcoming events this year, especially the eagerly awaited FIBA EuroBasket 2022, in Germany, Czech Republic, Georgia in Italy and also updated the delegates about the decisions of the FIBA Europe Board at its May 20 meeting, especially regarding the withdrawal of the Russian and Belarusian teams from the upcoming European national team competitions and the club competitions season 2022-23.
In his intervention, Mr. Niang sent out a message of solidarity against a different adversary than the pandemic of the last two years, this time is the conflict in Ukraine. He said that FIBA has taken some difficult decisions with heavy heart, as those affected the players and coaches who are not responsible for this war, but the decisions were necessary in order to protect all stakeholders of our events.
Mr. Zagklis, who also addressed the delegates, echoed Mr Demirel and Mr Niang in pointing out that FIBA must remain prudent in its fight against the new enemy, which is the war on European soil. He also reminded the audience that FIBA and FIBA Europe are all about organizing events, basketball growth and development and FIBA Europe came out of the pandemic financially stable and stronger in anticipation of a summer of a big comeback in European events.
The FIBA Secretary General reiterated that the strategic pillars of FIBA are not a vague notion, but serious inroads have been made in many areas including programs and projects about the empowerment of the national federations and the Women in Basketball with more spots on offer in the different world qualifying events for European national teams.
Mr. Novak presented the Assembly with a report on the entire spectrum of FIBA Europe activities in competitions and development, including an array of facts and figures.
The delegates also heard updates about the current situation in European club basketball.
The FIBA Europe Treasurer Mr. Karl Thaller presented the Finance Commission report, Mr. Wolfgang Brenscheidt delivered the Competitions' Commission report while Mr. Georgi Glushkov presented the report of the Technical Commission.
Mr. Edgars Sneps presented the Women's Commission report, Mr. Matej Erjavec delivered the report of the Youth Commission and Mr. Bernard O'Byrne presented the report of the Small Countries Commission.
The round of reports concluded with the President of IWBF Europe Walter Pfaller's presentation on Wheelchair Basketball, while Mrs. Monika Puchner offered the FIBA Europe Properties report.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of Czech Hall of Fame inductee Jiri Zidek who passed away on Saturday at the age of 78.
The next session of the FIBA Europe General Assembly will take place in Munich, in May 2023, while the 2024 Assembly will be organized in Croatia.
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 212 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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