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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tel Aviv May Lose Basketball Finale

ATHENS --? Europe's top club basketball event may be switched from Tel Aviv because of the continuing violence between Palestinians and Israelis.


The "Final Four," climax of the European clubs' season and one of the highlights of the basketball calendar, will be staged in Tel Aviv from April 19-21.


"We are very much concerned with the violence in Israel," said Borislav Stankovic, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, on Tuesday. "We will wait until the very last moment for information from Israel and the international press and then maybe we will be obliged to change the venue of the finals."


He added: "There are two possibilities. Either postpone the finals -- this is not easy -- or hold them at another place on the same date."


Stankovic said FIBA would make its final decision about a week before the start of the Final Four, the semifinals of the main European club tournament.


But he added: "Let me stress that the policy of the federation is to always help countries in trouble. We did this with teams from the new Yugoslavia and from the former Soviet Union and we will certainly do it for Israel."


Stankovic is in Athens for a three-day conference on violence in sports.


Speaking of Greek teams, Stankovic said fan violence remained their major problem. He said members of FIBA's executive committee wanted to exclude Greek teams from European tournaments and to stop Greece from staging the European championships in 1995.