Feb - 25 - 2000


The highest managers of the main European basketball professional leagues have met today in Barcelona, the new ULEB headquarters in the period leaded by President Eduardo Portela, in order to define ULEB objectives and also to pass a large action program. One of the main points, ULEBs expansion, will begin with the opening of the admission procedures for 10 countries.

The Union of Professional Basketball Leagues (ULEB) has gathered its first meeting in Barcelona, since that city was appointed as the new ULEB headquarters after the election of Eduardo Portela as ULEB President. Those present at the meeting were Gian Luigi Porelli (Honorific President of ULEB), Angelo Rovatti (Italian Legas President), Manuel Aurelio Cruz (President of LCB Portugal), Jean Bayle-Lespitau (President of French LNB), Eduardo Portela (President of ACB and ULEB) and Jordi Bertomeu (Secretary General of ACB).

An evaluation of ULEBs trajectory from its creation back in 1991 has been made. It has been pointed out the admission of the Greece and Portugal Leagues (Italy, France and Spain are the founder members), the role of the ULEB as the representative of European professional basketball. Afterwards, the program of the beginning stage has been approved, in which the ULEB intends to intensify its acting and become an entity able to study new subjects, with capacity to propose and to decisively influence before the official bodies governing European basketball. The main points of this program include the reform of technical playing rules, the structure of European competitions, EU politics on the selling of television rights, the laws referring players engagement and functioning of players agents.

However, the prior objective is the extension of ULEB member leagues, since ULEB contribution will be bigger as long as the number of represented countries will increase. For this reason, the amendment of ULEB Bylaws has been approved, allowing the admission of new leagues and clubs. To this end, the conversations with the interested leagues have begun, after Eduardo Portela having announced his intention to promote such extension.

The interested leagues are the following: Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland, Poland, Belgium and Switzerland. Thus means that the number of ULEB members could increase up to 15. The Bylaws amendment has also included some changes referring the Presidency period of effect, extended to 4 years.