International Basketball Federation (FIBA) officials have met with National Federations (NFs) and players’ representatives from Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and Turkey to discuss the ongoing bitter dispute with Euroleague over the international calendar.
The players’ representatives were said to have expressed their gratitude to FIBA for the invitation to the meeting, which took place at the House of Basketball in Mies in Switzerland.
But they spoke of their disappointment at not being involved in the process earlier and failing to be heard out by both the world governing body and Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) on the matter.
They also highlighted the "enduring importance" of national teams to grow the sport of basketball and confirmed that representing their country is a player's single biggest honour.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that FIBA has moved all 2019 Basketball World Cup European qualification matches in November 2017 and February 2018 back by one day in a bid to help resolve the quarrel with Euroleague.
FIBA's Executive Committee decided to switch games from Thursday to Friday after they proposed all Euroleague games would take place on Tuesdays during the November and February windows.
This would then free up Friday to Sunday for international matches.
FIBA had presented a compromise solution in an attempt to ease fears over the availability of top Euroleague players for the revamped international windows.
The row has plunged European basketball into crisis, with the two organisations remaining at loggerheads 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.
FIBA lashed out at what they saw as a "heavy-handed diversionary tactic" when they rejected a 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.
The worldwide governing body then presented the compromise solution to the Euroleague last week.
The initial proposal from FIBA had been met with scepticism among the Euroleague members, however, with concerns raised regarding the additional stress put on players with the extra matches.
It appears the FIBA Executive Committee decision will not fully appease the Euroleague as that fear does not seem to have been addressed.
The move also raises issues for those who have already booked travel and accommodation, particularly for November's matches, which are less than a month away.
Euroleague had promised to provide a "full response" to FIBA's proposal and claimed 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".
The decision of the ECA not to include dedicated international windows means, as it stands, that players will therefore not be automatically released to represent their countries in the 2017-2018 cycle - the first in FIBA's revamped calendar that comes into effect next month.
It has already been referred for investigation to the European Commission by FIBA.
Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and Turkey have all confirmed they will invite Euroleague players to represent their countries for all 2019 Basketball World Cup qualifiers.
In a statement, they also called for the ECA to reschedule Euroleague game-days in order to avoid clashes with the World Cup qualifiers and urge 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 other NFs, 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 NFs represent countries that account for 13 of the 16 clubs competing in the 2017-2018 Euroleague season.
Participants at the meeting in Mies agreed to repeat such gatherings regularly to discuss European basketball matters.