FIBA Europe Review 2003

19 December 2003

Dear Friends,

As another very busy year draws to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to give you an update of FIBA Europe’s events and activities since moving to the new offices in February of 2003.

4 Final Fours, 2 European Championships, 2 European Championships for Youth, 2 Promotion Cups, 3 Board meetings, 1 General Assembly, 3 International Candidate Referees Clinics and the implementation of an entirely new system of competition for national teams were just a few of the items on FIBA Europe’s packed agenda this year.

We hope that this overview will give you the information you need to keep you updated of all our activities.


The Board of FIBA Europe

A total of 28 meetings have been held since the start of the year and all of the FIBA Europe Commissions have met at least twice, some of them three times. The majority of the Commission meetings were held in Munich, although some took place during our major events of this year.

The General Assembly was held in May in Seville, Spain and the Board of FIBA Europe has met on 3 occasions, in March in Warsaw, Poland, in May in Seville and in November in Rome, Italy.

The main decisions made at those meetings were:

  • The Board approved the new system of competitions for all national teams (which we will review in more detail later).
  • The bidding process for the 2007 European Championships for Men and Women was officially opened.


We have totally revised the:

  • Bye-Laws (accepted by the General Assembly in Sevilla)
  • FIBA Europe Regulations, (to be ratified by the Board in March 2004 in Moscow).

We have written new or we in the process of finalising the following new documents:

  • Bid and Event Manual for the European Championship for Men.
  • Youth Competitions Manual.
  • FIBA Europe League Manual

Club Competitions

The Champions Cup Final Four provided a memorable atmosphere

The 2002/2003 season was completed successfully with the hosting of 3 Final Fours for the FIBA Europe Cup Women, the EuroLeague Women and the Champions’ Cup. They were all great events, notably the Champions Cup Final Four in Thessaloniki, Greece. No sports fan can fail to be excited at seeing 8,000 fans cheering for their team.

It was decided at the meeting of the General Assembly that FIBA Europe would create a pan-European club competition for the 2003/2004 season. The FIBA Europe League was created, to go along with the FIBA EuroLeague Women, the FIBA Europe Cup Women and the FIBA Europe Cup Men.

A very successful two-day Draw with over 400 participants was held in Munich in July for all of the above competitions, as well as meetings with the EuroLeague Women clubs and FIBA Europe League clubs.

FIBA Europe League

Although time was short, all clubs were registered and met during the Draw in July.

We think it is fair to say that we have some of the best club sides in Europe participating among the 30 competitors. They include the current league leaders in Greece in Telestet Maroussi Athens, 2nd placed German team GHP Bamberg, 2 very strong Russian sides in UNICS Kazan and Ural Great, Czech league leaders Nymburk, the 3rd placed team in Poland Anwil Wloclawek, the 3 league leaders in Ukraine, Kyiv, Azovmash and Odessa and the 2nd and 3rd place teams in Serbia and Montenegro, Hemofarm Vrsac and Nis Vojvodina Novi Sad.

Two major sponsors have been signed since the start of the season: Molten and AkademSportsPress.

80% of the games have been broadcast live on television, 60% on national stations. A total of over 250,000 spectators have visited games, and 3 clubs are averaging more than 4,500 spectators per game.

FIBA EuroLeague Women

Several meetings with the clubs have been held this year and it was decided that several participants would be offered a 3-year participation licence, of which 4 teams accepted the offer.

Molten was signed as a sponsor.

FIBA Europe Cups Men and Women

Both of these competitions are running successfully on a conference basis with a total of 88 teams registered.

National Team Competitions

eurobasket final.jpg
14,000 fans attended the final of Eurobasket 2003 in Stockholm
It has been a whirlwind year for national team competitions and we will try to summarise all the events as best as we can.

2003 was of course a big year for us as we staged our marquee competitions, the European Championships for Men and Women in Sweden and Greece respectively.

Both events were excellent and we saw many memorable games and a ferocious competitive spirit from all the participating teams. The men’s event was particularly close as can be witnessed by the fact that from the crossover games in the Preliminary Round onwards, the majority of the games were decided by 5 points or less.

Here are a few numbers that sum up the events:

European Championship for Men

  • A total of 205,000 spectators were present for an average of 73% of the overall capacity.
  • The semi-finals and finals were sold out with attendances of 14,000 for each game.
  • Over 800 media were accredited for the event.
  • Games were broadcast in more than 50 countries in 4 continents.
  • The semi-finals and finals were broadcast live in the USA.
  • The final game saw a record television audience in Spain for a non-football sporting event.
  • An estimated 110,000 people visited Sweden for the championship, spending €20 million.
    Russia and Czech Republic battled for European Championship Women gold in Greece

European Championship for Women

  • Over 150 media members were in attendance.
  • Games were broadcast to over 30 countries worldwide.

European Championships 2005

The 2005 European Championship for Men will take place in Serbia and Montenegro while the Women’s Championship will be in Turkey.

The Draw for the Qualifying Round was held in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro on 13th December.

For the first time ever, this event was shown on live video on our web site:

The Draw was a success as over 30 national federations were in attendance, as well as over 80 international media.

The new system for qualification will begin in September 2004.

Youth Competitions

Serbia and Montenegro triumphed in the European Championships for U16 Girls and Boys
European Championships were held this summer for the U16 Boys and Girls in Madrid, Spain and Nevsehir, Turkey. Having witnessed the talent on display in both competitions, we are confident that the future of European basketball is in very good hands, as our national federations continue to produce top talent.

In 2004 the European Championship for U16 Boys and Girls will be played according to our new competition system. A total of 68 national teams have registered for the event, which will be split up into 2 tournaments for Division A and 4 tournaments for Division B.

We will also have Challenge Rounds and Final Rounds for the European Championships for U18 and Final Rounds for the U20 Men and Women.

As of 2005, all youth tournaments will be played according to the new competition system. This means that every year, we will have an average of approximately 200 youth national teams or 2,400 players participating in European Championships.

If you include all the senior national teams, that makes nearly 300 national teams who are participating in official competitions, every year.


During the month of June we held 3 Clinics for Candidate International Referees, one in Bosnia and Herzegovina and two in the Netherlands.

FIBA Europe Web site was launched in September this year, just before the European Championships. 
We have received much positive feedback about the site and the number of visitors has continually increased since the launch.

Television and Marketing

FIBA Europe Marketing Manager Yannick Souvre
In September we made the decision, along with FIBA World, not to renew our television contract with Sportfive, but to sell the rights directly. We have taken part in several meetings with prospective buyers and although we cannot give any final numbers right now, we are confident that the decision was the right one and will be in our best interests for the future.

We have already mentioned that sponsors for the EuroLeague Women and FIBA Europe League have been secured. We would also like to mention that in November we welcomed former French women’s national team captain Yannick Souvré as a new member of staff and Marketing Manager.


Another appointment was made recently when Miguel Betancor accepted a position as Referee Coordinator. Miguel will take care of the continued education and development of our referees and we are excited about this new project.

FIBA Europe Board member Walther Kaszelik was engaged as our Security Advisor. He has a wealth of experience in the field of international security and has already visited Israel and Turkey in order to assess the security situations for our events in those countries.


2004 will no doubt be another busy year for us. To this date we have planned:

Referee Coordinator Miguel Betancor

  • FIBA Europe League and the EuroLeague Women All Star Games.
  • 4 club competition Final Fours,14 youth tournaments
  • Qualifying Round games for European Championships 2005 for Men and Women,
  • 3 Board of FIBA Europe meetings,
  • General Assembly,
  • Various meetings of the Commissions, Commissioner clinic, as well as 6 clinics for referees.

We should also note that on the court we will see a few changes following the Olympic Games. Most notably, following the decision of the Central Board, the women will play with a smaller ball.

We hope that we have managed to update you with most things that have happened in the past year. We would like to thank all of the national federations who have hosted our events in 2003 for their impeccable cooperation.

At this point we wish also to thank all the members of the Board of FIBA Europe, the members of the Executive Committee, the members of the various Commissions and the Special Advisers for their total collaboration and hard work in 2003.

Finally, we would be amiss if we did not thank you, the national federations, for the support and cooperation we have received and are continuing to receive. Without all of you, we would not have achieved so much.

We wish everybody all the best for the coming year and we hope it will be another successful one for the FIBA Europe basketball family.

Best regards,

Nar Zanolin
FIBA Europe Executive Director

George Vassilakopoulos
FIBA Europe President



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