|27 May 2014|
|A flooded basketball court in Sremska Mitrovica|
FIBA and FIBA Europe on Tuesday announced they are contributing €100,000 to the relief effort in support of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia after they were plunged into a humanitarian crisis 10 days ago, when they suffered the worst recorded floods in more than a century.
The three Balkan nations have been plunged into a humanitarian crisis as a consequence of the floods and subsequent landslides, with more than 50 people killed and tens of thousands losing their homes.
Daily life, including basketball, has been put on hold in the former Yugoslav countries, with venues such as Kombank Arena and Pionir Arena - which typically would host among other things the games of Partizan Belgrade and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade - being transformed into refuge shelters for flood victims.
The worldwide basketball community is rallying together in support of the grief-stricken communities.
FIBA President Yvan Mainini lent his voice to the plea for assistance and unity in helping out the affected countries.
"We are extremely saddened to see the devastating impact of the floods which hit Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of those countries at this very difficult time," he said.
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann and FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel said this was the time for all in the world of basketball to come together and do all they can to help.
"This tragedy calls for the basketball community to come together as one and help these people to get through the difficult times ahead," stated Baumann.
Demirel, for his part, said: "All of us at FIBA Europe have been following the flooding in the Balkans with great sadness. In difficult times like these, the European and international basketball family must show solidarity with our friends throughout the region and do whatever we can to provide support to those in need."
FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak pointed to the tragedy as a reminder to everyone of the real priorities.
"At a tragic time like this, we regain our perspective on life and are reminded that basketball is just a game," he said.
"In life, there are much more important issues at hand and it is important that we now address these current issues facing our brothers in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and provide assistance in every appropriate manner possible."