A dispute between FIBA and EuroLeague Basketball is continuing ©FIBA

Tensions between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Euroleague Basketball are showing no signs of easing despite proposals having been made to resolve their dispute over the international calendar.

A dispute over the availability of top Euroleague players for revamped international windows in November 2017 and February 2018 reached another low last week when FIBA lashed out at what they saw as a "heavy-handed diversionary tactic".

This followed a rejected Euroleague proposal for a 38-week club schedule running from October to June, with a six-week window for national team competitions in June and July and a complete break in August.

A compromised solution has since been put forward by the world body in which all Euroleague games would take place on Tuesdays during the November and February windows, freeing up Friday to Sunday for international matches. 

Euroleague have, in turn, promised to give this proposal an "exhaustive evaluation".

Concerns, however, have already been raised.

"Euroleague Basketball acknowledges that it has received a proposal from FIBA regarding the so-called 'FIBA windows' and their interference with the clubs' domestic and international calendars," a latest statement said. 

"EB and its clubs appreciate that, for the first time - and despite the counter-proposals that Euroleague Basketball has presented over the years, starting in 2012 - FIBA has made a proposal.

"Despite the fact that those previous EB counter-proposals were never considered or directly dismissed by FIBA, this latest FIBA proposal will be studied by the EuroLeague clubs and other stakeholders for an exhaustive evaluation."

Changes to the FIBA calendar have caused clashes with the Euroleague ©FIBA
Changes to the FIBA calendar have caused clashes with the Euroleague ©FIBA

A major concern already raised surrounds the extra stress on players created by having extra matches in a congested period.

"The FIBA proposal does not solve the main issue of the national team windows, namely the absence of the best players during the majority of the windows," the Euroleague statement added.

"This problem remains.

"The proposal puts extra stress on players, as it would require them to play numerous games in a reduced time period without rest days and with lengthy travel in between. 

"As an example, players might have to play up to six games in just 10 days during the February window, including domestic cups, EuroLeague and national team games. 

"In addition, some of the journeys that players must undertake require as many as 30 or 40 hours of travel, and even more than 50 hours in other cases."

A "full response" to FIBA's proposal will be given in "upcoming days and weeks", while they "remain open to discussing and evaluating any other proposals that solve the main problem of the FIBA 2017 Calendar, which remains the impossibility for all players to join their national team games".

It comes after the Euroleague confirmed that its competition calendar for the next season will not feature dedicated windows for international games in November 2017 and February 2018.

As it stands, players will therefore not be automatically released to represent their countries in the 2017-2018 cycle - the first in FIBA's revamped calendar - as a result of the move.

Sources close to FIBA have already disputed the travel times cited by Euroleague, pointing out that only four non-European players from the league represented their countries internationally this year so would have journey time of "more than a few hours". 

The decision of Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) to create a calendar conflict has already been submitted for investigation to the European Commission by FIBA. 

Influential IOC member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann is heavily involved in the debate ©Getty Images
Influential IOC member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann is heavily involved in the debate ©Getty Images

Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and Turkey have all signed a joint statement whereby they confirm they will invite Euroleague players to represent their countries for all 2019 Basketball World Cup qualifiers.

Their statement also called for the ECA to reschedule Euroleague game-days in order to avoid clashes with the World Cup qualifiers and urges the European Commission to hold the ECA accountable for breaching its earlier commitment to accommodate FIBA's new calendar.

Furthermore, it also guarantees their support to fellow National Federations, which are similarly seeking the release of their country’s players from Euroleague clubs, and confirmed their readiness to use all available remedies in protecting their teams from the interference of the ECA.

The six Federations, meeting in Swiss city Geneva for matters relating to their domestic championships this month, represent countries that account for 13 of the 16 clubs competing in the 2017-2018 Euroleague season.