On 20th June 2008, FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos, Secretary General Nar Zanolin and Youth Commission President Asterios Zois were in Vienna, Austria for a meeting of the European Team Sport Federations at the Headquarters of the European Handball Federation (EHF).
The meeting was a discussion of common issues in the overall structure of team sports, legal principles in sport and further steps of cooperation between the team sport federations of Europe. Representatives from the governing bodies of football (UEFA), handball (EHF), ice-hockey (IIHF), rugby (FIRA-AER) and volleyball (CEV) were also on hand.
The core matters on the agenda for the meeting included:
EU and Sport Matters
Sport and its role in Europe has been highlighted as a key issue for the French Presidency of the EU, which will commence on 1 July 2008. While the "White Paper on Sport" has been acknowledged by the team sport federations as a step to recognise the status of sport and the issues faced by sport within a legal context, it has been widely accepted that these issues now need to be firmly addressed. Concrete proposals are being elaborated on, focusing in particular on training and education for the younger age categories and the values of sport for the youth. The agenda of the French Presidency, in view of the focus on sport, was discussed by the representatives attending the meeting.
The UEFA home-grown players rule was also on the agenda. This pioneering approach to secure the promotion of young player training is a matter which affects each and every team sport. The rule and its compatibility with EU law are of key interest to all who attended and were discussed in detail.
Future structure for cooperation between the Team Sport Federations
Over the course of the past decade, the major team sport federations in Europe have met on regular occasions to discuss matters of common interest and mutual understanding. While each and every sport has a unique structure, all are based on the European Sports Model. The Federations used the opportunity of the meeting to discuss closer cooperation and working structures for inter-related sport-political and technical matters.
Joint Statement from:
European Handball Federation
Union des Associations Européennes de Football
International Basketball European Federation
Confédération Européenne de Volleyball
International Rugby Board
International Ice Hockey Federation
Vienna, 20 June 2008