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Dubai (AFP) – Dubai is in talks with the EuroLeague for an emirate-based franchise to join Europe’s basketball flagship competition for the long term, Emirati club owner and businessman Abdallah Al Naboudah told AFP on Monday.
“Negotiations with the Euroleague began eight months ago, seeking to include a Dubai club in the prestigious tournament and host certain games in the city,” at the Coca Cola Arena (17,000 seats), said Al Naboudah, president of the newly created Dubai Basketball. Golf and former Vice President of the Golf Association.
“There is still nothing official, the negotiations continue” but “the first signs are positive,” added Al Naboudah.
The EuroLeague had previously confirmed talks of a “potential collaboration” with Al Naboudah and the emirate’s representatives, during a visit to Dubai on October 11. The thirteen shareholder teams of the Euroleague, a closed league by invitation, then moved to the United Arab Emirates.
“Of course, we’re excited about the potential for EuroLeague basketball in the United Arab Emirates, but it’s still a bit early to go into specifics,” EuroLeague CEO Marshall Glickman said in a statement afterward. of the October 11 meeting.
“We are impatient to continue the talks,” he added.
The growing investment of the Gulf countries in the world of sport generates criticism from human rights organizations, who accuse them of cleaning up their image thanks to sporting events (“sport washing”).
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia host the Formula 1 Grand Prix each year, while Qatar is preparing to host the World Cup (November 20 to December 18).
The Saudi kingdom is also hosting the dissident LIV Golf circuit this year, which has won over several of the world’s best players with record prizes, generating anger from the historical institutions of golf.
© 2022 AFP
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Dubai negotiates to enter the Euroleague basketball