As though there were any doubt that the global economic crisis is affecting professional sports worldwide, FIBA Europe today brings news that confirms fears.
The association today announced that no smaller a force than CSKA Moscow has pulled its women’s team from participation in Euroleague Women for the 2009-2010 season, citing financial difficulties. The top ranking team not involved in the tournament, Wisła Can-Pack of Poland, will be taking CSKA’s spot in Group B.
Group B now consists of Wisła, Gospic Croatia Osiguranje Wisła, MiZo Pécs, Beretta Famila Schio, Halcon Avenida, and ESB Villeneuve d’Ascq Lille Metropole.
Despite CSKA’s prestigious standing in women’s basketball, this marks the second occasion in short time for the Russian team to find Euroleague ball too pricy: In late 2008, the team forfeited one league game and nearly had to pull out but was saved by an appeal from the Russian basketball federation and a 13th-hour sponsorship deal.