© Photo by FIBA Basketball
Lorenzo Brown’s entry into the Spanish squad shortly before the run-up to EuroBasket 2022 has sparked controversy over the national teams. In the interview given by the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation for Europe Andreas Zagles, the topic was touched upon.
The phenomenon is big: half of the teams registered for Eurobasket 2022 have a naturalized player in their ranks in preparation. And Slovenia, the last contemporary champion with naturalized Anthony Randolph, just replaced him with Mike Toby.
Zagklis is a former member of the FIBA legal department, and all these cases have come to his table: “Based on my previous role in the organization, you can imagine that I spent a great deal of time thinking, discussing and reviewing hundreds of player cases.
National means representing the state. If you ask any union, the starting point is if you have a passport from that country. Hence, the role of the International Federation is to ensure what I have described as competitive balance, sporting integrity and to some extent ensure that there are links between the players and the country they represent.
The biggest difficulty for FIBA and all the federations is that you make a rule, but you have 212 members and therefore you have 212 different citizenship laws that need to be regulated.
There are some countries where it is very difficult to obtain a passport. There are other countries where it is much easier to obtain a passport. Therefore, creating a base that lays a foundation for 212 bases of different nationalities is very difficult.
In some cases, you are a citizen if you were born in the country. In some cases, you are a citizen if you have an ancestor dating back one, two, or three generations of that country, even if you have never set foot in that country.
The second difficulty that relates to basketball in particular is that we have the country that invented that sport by producing, if not a few thousand, at least a thousand players each year who can make a difference at some level of national basketball. Also due to its culture and the way society is built, this country has witnessed huge immigration rates and large communities from many countries around the world.
As a third class, this country has a passport that not only the American state as a member of the International Basketball Federation, but a number of FIBA countries hold American passports. It’s a very difficult task to balance all of this.”
Only one homosexual. “FIBA’s response has always been very strict with eleven players on the roster. I can tell you that our standard rule is one of the strictest. We get a lot of complaints about it because the rule is built with the obligation to bring a passport before the age of 16 or real ties to basketball. or club in the country.
And by many countries, it was seen as a protection mechanism for the larger countries that established the traditional player development system. The board has discussed this several times and has concluded that this balance between a strict rule of 11 and a rule that allows a naturalized player is a fair balance.
“Entrepreneur. Social media ninja. Music nerd. Award-winning introvert. Beer trailblazer.”