The European Commission has accepted a project application to help organize basketball players in Europe. UBE will partner with UNI Europa and the European Elite Athletes Association in the 18 month project that will begin in January 2018. The funding will allow UBE representatives to visit and organize meetings across Europe with players, club representatives, and other stakeholders.
The project comes at a critical time for European basketball as the Euroleague and FIBA are locked in a dispute over which organization should control the game’s top tiers in Europe. FIBA is attempting to assert its position by organizing national team “windows” during the Euroleague season. The conflict has pitted national federations against top clubs and put players in the very difficult position of having to choose between national team service and fulfilling their employment contracts.
NBA players are exempted from the qualifiers because they play under a collective bargaining agreement with the NBA that clearly defines their duty to their clubs and takes precedence over FIBA regulations.