Following the conclusion of the Panathinaikos OPAP Athens-FC Barcelona game in Round 25 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season in Athens, Greece, two individuals performed a cowardly, criminal attack, smashing a window of the taxi that was transporting the referees from OAKA to their hotel. Fortunately, all three referees, the referee coach and the taxi driver are OK. After the attack, Euroleague Basketball communicated directly with the Hellenic Police, who guaranteed the safety and security of the referees until they departed from Greece.
Euroleague Basketball would like to state that:
- Euroleague Basketball and all participating clubs condemn violent acts of any shape or form, and will continue to apply a zero-tolerance policy.
- Euroleague Basketball will support the police investigation into the attack. Should the two individuals be identified, they will be banned for life from attending any Euroleague Basketball game/event, without prejudice to any additional legal proceedings.
- Euroleague Basketball will support the three referees and referee coach in any further action they take.
Euroleague Basketball will continue to promote a healthy, friendly and relaxed environment, in which all games of its competitions must take place, with safety and security provided for visiting teams, referees and all other accredited personnel.
Euroleague Basketball will seek the cooperation of the clubs and the local authorities to prevent any such incidents in the future. Whilst the attack is unprecedented in the 20-season history of Euroleague Basketball, should a similar incident occur again within the territory of Greece, this would signify that a safe and secure environment for the visiting teams, referees and all other accredited personnel cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, Euroleague Basketball will immediately evaluate relocating all further EuroLeague, EuroCup and U18 Tournament games outside of Greece.