Ferlazzo: EBL Qualifier and Citizenship

Francesco Ferlazzo Natoli

According to the Art. 24 of the FIGB Regulations (approved by CONI – Italian Olympic Committee), a player must be an Italian citizen in order to represent the country.

The Italian team at the European Qualifiers encompassed Kristian Dimitrov who does not have Italian citizenship.

Therefore we asked FIGB President, Francesco Ferlazzo  Natoli, whether the Italian team’s registration to the EBL Qualifiers was valid.

The President promptly replied to us:

What is happening is Covid-19 collateral damage.

This is a hybrid competition (named ‘qualifiers’ rather than ‘European Championships’) because it serves two purposes, which is unusual and complex: identify the 8 European teams for the World Championships and 8 club teams for the Champions’ Cup.

As everyone knows, the World Championships will take place in Italy, so the Italian teams are qualified by default.

.Therefore Italian teams are taking part only for the purposes of qualifying to the Champions’ Cup. Italy would not have played in the World Championships’ qualifier because this could have inappropriately influenced the results.

On this basis, we decided to field the team who won the Italian Club Championships in 2019: ASD Pescara.

This club had the right to field any six players amongst its members, from any nationality, as long as they were in good standing with the EBL.

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