Gianni Petrucci, president of Italian Basketball Federation, is furious with Virtus Segafredo Bologna after the club decided to break the contract with FIBA to play Basketball Champions League and join EuroCup with a wild card. Virtus played BCL last season with a wild card and won the competition.
Petrucci spoke with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Virtus Bologna left Basketball Champions League organized by FIBA to go to EuroCup, the second competition of EuroLeague. How does FIP react to this?
“I’m disappointed and feel betrayed by Virtus Bologna. By deciding to go against a contract that they signed to play BCL next season, they gave a slap to FIBA and FIP, which is a part of that deal too. One year ago, to go back to European competitions, they got a wild card thanks to our help. Two months ahead of their win in Antwerp, without any assurance they would eventually win the trophy, Virtus got a second wild card. By winning BCL they also received one million in prize money, but now the have moved on to a different competition even if they signed a deal to stay. Their decision is very bad for FIP’s image and put us in embarrassment within the global basketball system. In fact, I will convene a special federal council next week to evaluate the withdrawal from our application to host a Group Phase for the next EuroBasket”
Will you take any measures against Virtus? Will you ask them to reconsider?
No, we can’t do that against clubs for this kind of decisions. I won’t ask anything to Virtus, I will let them realize what to do. It will be up to FIBA to protect themselves.