Vangelis Liolios, president of the Greek Basketball Federation, revealed the financial terms on which Dimitris Itoudis left his position, explained what drew him in Vassilis Spanoulis, and referred to Greece's chances of hosting one of the Pre-Olympic tournaments.

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After guiding Greece in the 2022 EuroBasket and the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Dimitris Itoudis parted ways with the Greek Basketball Federation. The Greek tactician mentioned that the decision for the premature termination of his contract that was set to expire in 2024, was mostly due to the fact that he wanted to attend to his duties as coach of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. 

"My obligations with my club, which end just a few weeks before the start of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, do not allow my availability to the extent that I believe the preparation for such an important tournament requires," Itoudis wrote on X.

"Therefore, in consultation with the president of the federation, Mr. Liolios, we decided that I would be next to the federation and our national team on a non-profit basis only with my advice and opinion whenever and if it is needed."

In his introductory speech during Vassilis Spanoulis' presentation as the new head coach of Greece, Vangelis Liolios thanked Itoudis "for his help and contribution to the team."

The president of the federation repeated that the two sides decided to go separate ways "prematurely."

"We thought it was best that our cooperation did not continue and, although it would have been possible, he didn't ask for any compensation, not one euro," Liolios said of the coach.

"He told us that whenever necessary, he will be next to the team because he is a fan of the national team," the former Promitheas Patras owner assured. "The team is judged over a period of two years," he continued.

"We didn't have sports success, but we had two different elements. In the first year, we saw that everyone bought into the project, while in the second year we had unity. To go to the next level, we need both elements."

While explaining how he came up with the idea of hiring Spanoulis, Liolios said that "he's a necessity." 

"From the first moment we met with Vasilis, I realized that the most suitable coach would be him. We need the national team to stir up strong emotions," he stressed and referred to Spanoulis' traits that made him the perfect choice.

"I am calm and confident. I was struck by his glance, his look. It was riveting," he pointed out. 

Liolios confirmed that the Greek federation has submitted "a complete file" in order to be one of the four host cities of the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournaments.

"It's a global event, and we haven't hosted one for 16 years," he said referring to the 2008 tournament that Greece hosted and won, earning their only spot in the final tournament (excluding 2004, when they were hosting the Games). 

Credit Hellenic Basketball Federation

Greece have already been entrusted with the 2025 FIBA Women's EuroBasket, which means that in case FIBA grants them the Pre-Olympic tourney, back-to-back events will take place in the country for the first time. Liolios said the decision will be announced on November 15 and appeared optimistic that Greece "will be able to get one of the four tickets."

"We need to move within a fiscally neutral environment, without affecting the Federation's finances and revenues, nor our ability to support the amateur clubs," he concluded. 

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