ANKARA

Ten basketball clubs competing in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Saturday issued a joint statement to criticize “unfounded defamations” by Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos.

Anadolu Efes, Barcelona, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce Beko, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Olympiacos Piraeus, Olimpia Milano, Real Madrid, and Zalgiris Kaunas signed the statement.

The signatory clubs said they support Panathinaikos stay in the EuroLeague despite Giannakopoulos’ recent remarks about the EuroLeague organization.

The clubs underscored that they believe in EuroLeague and continue to stay together for the unity.

“All clubs express their firm desire for Panathinaikos Athens to continue on the EuroLeague path because the club has been an integral part of this venture over the past 19 years. However, the repeated grave and unfounded defamations made by Mr. Giannakopoulos will not be tolerated,” they said.

They will take necessary steps to save their reputation and the properties, the statement added.

“The clubs will take any action that they deem necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of their collective and individual properties, and to ensure that the club complies in full with every obligation to which it has committed itself as a member of the group.”

Panathinaikos previously sent a letter to EuroLeague to show their intention to depart from the tournament, claiming that the competition is not beneficial for the club since there is no rise in revenues.

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