FIBA warns dispute over European clubs could affect Olympics

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — FIBA has raised the stakes in a dispute with 14 European members over controlling continent-wide club basketball competitions by suggesting Spain could lose its 2016 Olympics place.

FIBA said Sunday that its executive committee meeting next weekend "will discuss the possibility of taking decisions in relation to worldwide events."

These include the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where 2012 silver medalist Spain has already qualified, and Olympic qualifying tournaments in July, including two hosted by Serbia and Italy.

Spain, Serbia and Italy are among 14 federations given a Wednesday deadline by FIBA to prove their clubs or leagues don't have agreements with Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA).

The ECA is a private, club-supported organizer of the established Euroleague and Eurocup events.

FIBA and its subsidiary, FIBA Europe, have launched a rival Champions League for top clubs to start next season.

The dispute also risks disrupting the next edition of the European Championship.

FIBA said eight federations — Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain — have been sent letters "confirming that they have lost their right to participate in the upcoming FIBA EuroBasket 2017" pending Wednesday's deadline.

A further six — Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey — have been asked to clarify their position with ECA.

Israel and Turkey are among two of four nations scheduled to co-host the 2017 Eurobasket.

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