FIBA President Horacio Muratore is very much looking forward to November 2017 and the launch of FIBA's New Competition System, which opens a new era for basketball.
Speaking to FIBA.com, he explained how this revolutionary calendar is a game-changer for the sport all around the world.
The launch of FIBA's New Competition System is just a few months away. What are your thoughts as you look ahead to November 2017?
2017 will see the beginning of a new era for our sport. We are looking forward to November and the action getting underway, but even before then to May, when we will have the Draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
The New Competition System is something we have been talking about since 2010 so I hope everybody in basketball is as excited about it as we are. The national team is the best product you can have in sport, so this change represents everything that will help basketball to grow all over the world. We hope it will turn out to be a huge
success. We are aware that some stakeholders in the basketball family have some doubts, but we remain convinced that when the New Competition System tips off in November, everyone will realise it is in the best interest of our sport's entire community.
Can you share some of the reactions and feedback you have heard from National Federations and other key basketball stakeholders on the New Competition System?
Overall, people are happy and excited to see their national teams playing at home on a regular basis. This new era brings with it considerable change and understandably our national federations see the size of the challenge ahead. Therefore we are working closely with them to help in this transition so that they get
the most out of it.
The new system will have even more impact for the national federations that never had the opportunity to compete in high-level basketball tournaments because the level of development of the sport in their country or territory was insufficient. I understand them because not playing often meant they did not exist. They had no support from the government, from sponsors or from fans and their youths would then be distributed among other sports. I love all sports but as FIBA President I want more young players to play basketball. So the opportunities that the New Competition System presents will help national federations develop our sport where they are. I think there is going to be an impressive jump for basketball, due to
visibility and media coverage. The fans will enjoy many games of their favourite national team every three months while the sponsors are going to be able to receive the returns they expect to get from what they are investing in basketball. With this system, national federations have to get involved and understand the new model. If they do, those that are developing basketball within their borders will be able to make a big jump.
In recent months, FIBA has implemented more measures to help the national federations in the context of the New Competition System. Can you put in perspective the value of measures such as FIBA providing and paying for TV production, taking on the costs related to the players’ insurance as well as the fees for officials?
FIBA has committed itself to supporting its national federations and this is done through many initiatives. Not only do we provide financial support such as TV production, players’ insurance and covering costs of officials, but we also assist on the technical side too, by having an e-learning platform as well as a number of digital tools and holding workshops. All of these initiatives are hugely beneficial to the national federations.
FIBA's Executive Committee has always wanted to promote basketball at the highest possible level. Through the partnership we have with Perform that resulted in the creation of FIBA Media, we can ensure high level and consistent TV production standards that we provide free of charge to the national federations for all games of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. So we are taking problems off of their shoulders because they were asking themselves 'How are we going to cover the cost of production?' National Federations also worry about the cost of insurance required for players to be released to play for their national team. Now that FIBA is covering all of those expenses and therefore national federations have every reason to be happy and relieved. Most recently we also announced that we will take care of all of the fees for officials.
You served as President of Argentina's Basketball Federation (CABB) for 16 years so you're able to view these measures from the perspective of a person heading a national governing body. How would you have reacted to these had they happened in your time at CABB?
If, in my time as President of Argentina's Basketball Federation, FIBA had offered to provide and pay for high level TV production as well as cover the costs for players' insurance and the fees for officials, the truth is that I would have been a very happy man.