The Serbian and Greek basketball leagues have both made big news this past week because of controversial decisions on the number of foreigners allowed for their first division teams.
The bigger shocker came from Serbia where league officials have limited the number of foreign players to four. But the real news is that the league has decided that players from Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina would be ruled as foreigners.
Just as an example of the impact of this ruling, Partizan Belgrade would see players such as Slavo Vranjes (Montenegro) and Zarko Rakocevic (Montenegro) now considered foreign players. Even worse off would be Red Star Belgrade with Boris Bakic (Montenegro), Elmedin Kikanovic, Milan Milosevic and Marko Keselj (all Bosnian) all now counting against foreigner rules.
The strangest aspect is that some of those players and many of the Montenegro and Bosnian players were actually Serbian in nationality.
In Greece, meanwhile, the first division clubs of the ESAKE league voted to change the maximum of non-European players from two to three of the allowed six non-Greek players.
Once Greek federation chairman George Vassilakopoulos signs off on the decision – as is expected – this will prove to be a large advantage for the bigger Greek clubs.
It’s been reported that the move was needed to reduce clubs’ players’ budgets. But it also allows clubs like reigning Euroleague champions Panathinaikos and Final Four participants Olympiacos the chance to add a third American player to their roster.
Both of these decisions will play a large impact on how Serb and Greek teams finish off putting together their teams for this season