Euroleague Basketball, the governing body for both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup competitions, decided on Wednesday, October 14, to propose a modification to Article 6 of the Special Regulations that were approved by the ECA Shareholders Executive Board clubs in September 2020. The article regulates the consequences of teams not having at least eight players fit to play in any given game due to COVID-19.
The rule established that “If one or more players/coaching staff/team followers of a club test positive for COVID-19, the game will take place as scheduled unless the national or local authorities of one or both clubs involved or of the place where the game will be held (in case of a neutral country) require a large group of players or the entire team to go into quarantine. If at least eight players on the Authorisation List are fit to play, the game must go ahead on the scheduled date and location. The club that cannot play the game will be held responsible for the game not taking place and the Disciplinary Judge will declare that its team loses by the result of zero to twenty (0-20) and, when applicable, the playoff series. A recidivism originated from or due to positive tests in a team will not entail the disqualification from the competition.
If the national or local authorities of one or both clubs involved or of the place where the game will be held (in case of a neutral country) prevent a team from participating in a game, despite having at least eight players on the Authorisation List fit to play, the Disciplinary Judge will declare that this team loses by the result of zero to twenty (0-20) and, when applicable, the playoff series.”
Despite the fact that 90% of the games in both competitions will have been played as scheduled, given recent developments and to protect the clubs as well as the integrity of the competition, Euroleague Basketball will propose a modification of this article to the ECA Shareholders Executive Board and EuroCup Board, aligning the consequences of such a situation to those of games that are prevented from being played due to travel restrictions imposed by local or national authorities.
As a result, teams unable to count on at least eight players to play a game due to COVID-19 positives, would see the relevant game(s) suspended and rescheduled to a later date. Existing rules (maximum of three reschedules for any given game, deadlines to reschedule games, etc.) will mirror those applied to travel restriction situations.
If approved, the modification will apply retroactively to those games that have not been played to date due to this reason, and empower the Euroleague Basketball CEO to reschedule the six games that have not been played to a future date.
Additionally, Euroleague Basketball will review the protocols in place by affected teams, including Domestic Leagues’, local authorities, teams’ internal protocols, etc. Best practices of other EuroLeague and EuroCup teams will be shared to help all teams maximize their health & safety.
Jordi Bertomeu, President & CEO of Euroleague Basketball said:
“Back in September we all expected to face numerous travel restrictions this season. Until now between the league, the clubs, and different governments, we have been able to navigate all of these successfully. Meanwhile the COVID-19 positives cases may or may not be a transitory concern, but in any case, we knew that this would need to be reviewed during the course of the season and must anticipate as much as possible every potential situation. We must continue to be flexible and find solutions, as agreed with the clubs when they approved the Special Regulations due to COVID-19.
We all acknowledged that 2020-21 will be a special and strange season in many senses, and that we would need to adapt. In addition to the change of this specific article in the Special Regulations, we will continue to monitor the others whilst updating the Health & Safety Protocols to ensure they collectively protect the health of all individuals, the integrity of the competition and its regularity.”