IWBF Europe have proposed changes to the classification regulations of the EuroCup which will allow any players who may become non-eligible in the classification reassessment process to continue to participate in the competition.
IWBF are currently going through the classification reassessment process, which was demanded of them by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as part of an agreed action plan for the sport of wheelchair basketball to stay part of the Paralympic movement and also remain on the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
EuroCup, which includes EuroLeague and Champions League, is the largest club competition in the world and the amendments planned will allow any players who have been internationally classified at a world level and made non-eligible in the reassessment process to have grandfather rights and continue to compete in this competition at what was their existing sport class.
IWBF Europe’s President, Walter Pfaller, said:
“We made the decision as a Zone Executive Council to extend the rights of the eligibility of those players who have previously been classified at a world level as we believe they should continue to be able to participate within the competition.
“A lot of players’ livelihoods can be dependent on their professional contracts with European clubs and if they are unable to play in the European club competition this could cause/hinder their abilities to secure or retain those contracts. For clubs to know players will still be able to compete at the top level in Europe will be reassuring for them to honour existing contracts or offer new ones.”
IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens, said:
“We welcome the decision made by IWBF Europe to make provisions to allow any players that have been ruled non-eligible in the process to continue to play in EuroCup.
“We understand the impact being ruled non-eligible will have on players and we are pleased to see mechanisms being put in place by our Zones and NOWB’s that will allow them to continue to play the game of wheelchair basketball.”
The regulations are in the process of being updated and approved by the IWBF Europe Executive Council.