|Outgoing FIBA Europe Acting President Cyriel Coomans speaking at the 2014 FIBA Europe General Assembly|
47 FIBA Europe member federations met in Munich on Friday for the 2014 FIBA Europe General Assembly, where the late President Olafur Rafnsson was on the minds of all.
Rafnsson, who passed away in June 2013, was remembered at the General Assembly by being named as an honorary Member of FIBA Europe.
Proceedings began with outgoing Acting President Cyriel Coomans opening the floor by paying tribute to Rafnsson, whose untimely death lead to Coomans taking on the caretaker role of FIBA Europe President.
Coomans expressed that, "Olafur was a nice and warm person who invested all his energy day and night into basketball. His death is a big loss to the world of sport in general, the basketball community and above all FIBA Europe." He then called for the more than 100 attendees to stand for a moment to honour Rafnsson.
In regards to the results of the FIBA extraordinary meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey on 16 March which led to the new governance structure of FIBA moving forward, Coomans pleaded the case, that Europe should remain a key stakeholder within the new structure.
FIBA President Yvan Mainini took to the stage next and mirrored the words of Coomans in paying his respects to Rafnsson, before passing on his thanks to Coomans for the stellar job he performed, especially in consideration to the trying circumstances through which he came about his position.
FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak informed the 47 federations in attendance of key decisions which had been taken a day previous at the final meeting of the 2010-2014 Board of FIBA Europe. This included the vote to award the host nations for European youth tournaments up to three years prior to the tournament taking place in order to give the Local Organising Committees (LOCs) sufficient time to seek and prepare commercial partnerships.
It was also agreed that as of 2015, the U20 European Championship Men will move back to a 16-team tournament, from its current 20-team format. This falls in line with every other FIBA Europe Division A youth tournament.
Finally, it was confirmed that EuroLeague Women should move to a 16-team format to sustain the interest of the elite clubs while maintaining the high standards of the competition.
The General Assembly continues tomorrow, Saturday, with the elections of a new President, Treasurer and Board members for the term of office 2014-2018.