ULEB Cup champion admitted to participate in the 2003-2004 Euroleague
The General Assembly of the Euroleague, celebrated on Friday in Madrid, decided to admit the champion of the ULEB Cup 2002-03, whatever its nationality, to participate in the 2003-04 Euroleague as long as it fulfils the necessary conditions. This decision means a theoretical increase to five in the number of Euroleague teams from Spain or Italy, in the event that the winner of the ULEB Cup is an Italian or Spanish team. Both countries currently have four berths assigned in the Euroleague.
The rule was adopted to avoid a sporting disincentive for the eight Spanish and Italian teams who otherwise would have started participating in the ULEB Cup knowing that they would not move up to the Euroleague even if they won the competition. This change will only affect the champion of the ULEB Cup, which means that, a theoretical sub-champion of the ULEB Cup from Italy or Spain will not have the automatic right to take part in the Euroleague if the cup winner for any reason doesn't fulfil the necessary conditions. In that case, the right will be given to one of the semi-finalists, or as a last resort, the Euroleague will directly invite a club, as happened last summer with Partizan Belgrade when two Greek clubs couldn't fulfil the necessary conditions to play in the Euroleague.