Kalev/Cramo banned by FIBA from hiring new players in debt dispute ({{commentsTotal}})

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has punished Estonia’s top basketball club, Tallinn-based BC Kalev/Cramo, temporarily placing a ban on the hiring of new players.

The decision came after the FIBA’s court of arbitration ruled that the Estonian basketball league club still is in debt to former coach Nenad Vučinić and his representation, EnterSport Management, and FIBA determined they have not received the money the club is obligated to pay.

Kalev/Cramo dismissed Vučinićile after the 2008-2009 season. Because Vučinić claimed that the club had not fulfilled its contractual obligations, the case was taken to FIBA's court of arbritation.

In January 2012, the court ruled in favor of Vučinić and EnterSport Management, requiring a payment of 60,000 euros. A payment plan was put into place, but Kalev/Cramo, FIBA said, has not adhered to the agreed schedule.

Kalev/Cramo's president Ivar Valdmaa told Vikerraadio that the debt has been paid off and FIBA's ban caught them by surprise.

"It was a great surprise to us, for the club paid off the dept a while ago, adhering to the agreement," Valdmaa said. "A few days ago we got a letter from FIBA and it baffled us. We had a payment plan with Vučinić and see no more obligations on our part. We are trying to solve the situation. We hope that FIBA will write to us and apologize."

Kalev/Cramo beat its rival, University of Tartu/Rock in the fourth game in the finals of the Estonian League in May, clinching the team’s fourth straight championship.

Editor: M. Värv, S. Abel, M.Oll