Europe’s top two club basketball competitions have been terminated this season without naming any winners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers EuroLeague Basketball said on Monday.
“Having explored every possible option, the Executive Board has made the decision to cancel the 2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup,” the organising body said on its official Twitter account.
The statement added that the 2020-21 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons will start on October 1 and September 30 respectively, with the same 18 teams that contested this season’s EuroLeague also competing in the next campaign.
The two competitions were indefinitely postponed on March 12 and the statement said clubs, players and all stakeholders had been willing to resume action but were unable to do so due to concerns over the health and safety of athletes and staff.
“Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history,” said EuroLeague’s president and chief executive, Jordi Bertomeu.
“Due to reasons beyond our control, we have been forced to cut short the most successful and exciting season in European basketball history.”
According to media reports, Panathinaikos BC OPAP was one of the teams against the complete suspension of the tournaments, citing a reduction in revenue.
“There are now doubts as to whether we will continue to co-operate with the events in the coming years,” former President of Panathinaikos OPAP, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, told the organising committee of EuroLeague.