Yes, the famous infamous Radio Vatican is knowing something about Basketball. And yes, they even talk about the Euroleague.
Most of our readers probably remember the story about Lithuanian TV channels that can not broadcast live games of basketball before 23h because of the publicity of Beer brands on the player’s jerseys. Now this has become a national debate in the basketball crazy Baltic country.
This goes that far that public persons like politicians started to bring this subject back to the national government. Why they do it? To get votes at the next election or whatever is up to the locals to decide. But now, even the catholic church is starting to give their opinion. As the Swiss website eni.ch reports on the 28th January.
In a statement presented at a media conference on 7 January, Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis of Vilnius and Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius of Kaunas, head of the Lithuanian Catholic bishops’ conference, had strongly criticized business and media groups.
"The television companies acted as saboteurs by canceling live broadcasts and thus manipulating natural indignation of their viewers. They lie unscrupulously that it’s the restriction of the alcohol advertisements which impedes the live broadcasts and that without the ‘donations’ of beer and cider producers, basketball will be dead," the bishops wrote.
"All the claims that this law will ruin Lithuanian sport are open blackmail. Instead, we should talk about mass drunkenness in Lithuania," the cardinal said.
"We cannot remain silent in the face of super-cynical statements that the promotion of alcohol is a vital pillar of sport in Lithuania," wrote the bishops. "It’s because of the aggressive thrusting of alcohol through all information channels and its ‘free’ trade that the playgrounds are devoid of hundreds of talented young boys and girls, who have committed suicide or spend meaningless lives at the margins of society."
This is a huge statement from people that normally don’t comment sportive activities. At least not in other countries than Lithuania where god and basketball are often mixed up and are considered as one person.
Now these statements were at the origin of a Radio Vatican newsflash today. It was published on their German website and it was probably the first time ever the catholic news channel was talking about the Euroleague. The release states that the media try to blackmail the Lithuanian population and that they try to get the public opinion on their side with such a sabotage act instead of discussing the massive alcohol problem that the Lithuanian youth is facing actually. Still according to the eni.ch article,
recent statistics show that the production of the alcoholic beverage cider, consumed mainly by young people, has increased by 250 percent over five years. Also, over the same period, the number of alcohol poisoning cases among the young has increased 15 times. The age average when young people first begin indulging in alcohol has slipped from 14 to 11 years.
Some serious issues there,that even Radio Vatican which is broadcasting mostly these kind of news, is talking about it.