DATES SHIFT ADDS NEW WRINKLE

The possibility of chaos – and compensation claims – has arisen after FIBA switched the date of next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The governing body claim the re-scheduling of games from Thursdays to Fridays – just six weeks before the first of its new international windows – will accommodate Euroleague clubs and allow them to move them fixtures so that national teams will have more of their leading players available.

The revision, also imposed for the scheduled windows in February 2018, will not affect Great Britain’s opener against Greece which was already slated for Leicester on Friday November 24.

However with teams and fans already booking travel, and possible venue clashes now in prospect, FIBA’s gambit could cause huge disruption and extra costs with the possibility of demands for compensation.

“This modification to the calendar enables Euroleague clubs to compete with their best players, while also allowing Euroleague players to join their national teams,” said a statement from FIBA.

“FIBA is currently working closely with its National Federations in order for them to confirm any necessary changes of game venues and travel bookings for their national teams.”

Euroleague will meet in the next week to determine whether it will accept the revision, which comes a week after it floated its own alternative calendar of playing all internationals in a mid-June to July window, a proposal immediately written off by FIBA in the latest exchange in an ongoing dispute between the two sides.

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