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EuroLeague abandoned amid coronavirus pandemic

Published : 25 May 2020, 18:44

Updated : 25 May 2020, 18:46

  DF-Xinhua Report

Euroleague basketball match between Crvena Zvezda and Baskonia in Belgrade, Serbia on Dec. 12, 2019. File Photo Xinhua.

The 2019-20 basketball EuroLeague season became the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, as organizers announced on Monday that the campaign would be abandoned.

"Having explored every possible option, the Executive Board has made the decision to cancel the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague," the organizers said in a statement.

The decision was made after a remote meeting of the executive board earlier in the day, which was fourth such assembly since the season was halted on March 12.

The statement explained that the main concern was still the health of the people, and cited that "local authorities imposing differing restrictions on the movements of their citizens" meant that teams could not "hold their training camp and prepare for official games under the same conditions".

The executive board has also confirmed that no team would be recognized as the winners of the curtailed competition.

"Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history. Due to reasons beyond our control, we have been forced to cut short the most successful and exciting season in European basketball history," EuroLeague president and CEO Jordi Bertomeu said.

With 28 of 38 games having been played, Turkey's Efes Istanbul was leading the table before the suspension with 24 wins, ahead of the Spanish duo of Barcelona and Real Madrid, who had both won 22 games.

The 2020-21 season will kick off on October 1 and feature the same 18 teams who took part in this season's abandoned competition.