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Wednesday 13.12.2017 | Name days: Veldze, Lūcija

Mayor of Bauska: Lembergs’ ill-considered remarks show megalomania and lack of tact

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURemarks of the CEO of Ventspils basketball club Aivars Lembergs regarding the basketball hall in Bauska and calling it a slum only demonstrates his megalomania and serves to insult residents of a region of Latvia, as mentioned by Mayor of Bauska Raitis Abelnieks in his interview to LETA.

Such remarks were voiced by Lembergs during the match between Ventspils and VEF Riga basketball clubs in Bauska sports centre Mēmele, where Aldaris was holding the regular Latvian Basketball League Championship.

«The ill-considered words of Lembergs have offended residents of Bauska. It only shows the person’s megalomania and lack of tact,» – said the Mayor of Bauska in response to Lembergs’ remarks. He believes the game, which resulted in the victory of Ventspils over VEF Riga (90:85), was a big celebration and a major event for all residents of Bauska.

«This was a hard game for VEF Riga. Prior to stopping on Bauska as the location for the game, representatives of VEF Riga basketball club and Latvian Basketball Association came to assess the premises. Mēmele was then chosen as the most appropriate place to house the basketball game,» – as confirmed by Bauska public relations specialist Ieva Šomina.

Director of VEF Riga Laila Spaliņa comments that ‘it was slightly harder for the boys to play on a field they do not recognize. The trip there was also tiring. But it was the support and love from the audience that justify small difficulties in basketball’.

«Not everyone can afford to enter basketball league games in the capital or any other large city in Latvia. This is why VEF supports the idea of playing in smaller cities,» – explains Spaliņa.

Ābelnieks believes Lembergs’ remarks voiced during his conversation with LBS president Valdis Voins have offended residents of Bauska.

In regard to the quality of organization of this event and technical aspects, Alksnis believe everything was in full accordance with requirements set by Latvian Basketball Association.

VEF Riga director also believes everything was organized well.

«We would like to thank Bauska municipality, the team at Mēmele and all residents of Bauska. The game was attended by many people, and the positive charge of energy fans gave the team proved invaluable for them. In spite of losing the game, we are very happy with our choice to play in Bauska. Looking at the quality of organisation put into it, the team had thought of everything, even more than necessary. Thank you!» – said Spaliņa, addressing the municipality and the sport centre.

According to estimates of Mēmele’s director, the game was attended by approximately 750 people.

Alksnis comments Lembergs’ words the following way: «I would only smile. I do not consider what he said is worth paying attention to. We have done as much as we could have with our capabilities. I would like to find out the costs of building Ventspils Olympic Centre. Just how much municipal money was invested in it? We are proud of what we have accomplished with our own powers.»

«In spite of the fact that Bauska’s sport scene has room for improvements, Bauska has nonetheless succeeded in raising truly exceptional athletes. The most well-known athletes are brothers Jānis and Mārtiņš Podži, athletes Dace Lina and Jānis Baltušs also show good results. There are many others,» – believes Mēmele’s director.

«We may not have any notable accomplishments in basketball, but what is important the most to us is succession. Bauska has basketball teams of all age groups,» – explains Alksnis.

When meeting with the President of Latvian Basketball Association Valdis Voins, Lembergs commented on the supposed low quality of the chosen location. «Bauska’s hall does not comply with necessary standards. The Basketball Federation should be strict in the selection of appropriate locations for Latvian championship games,» – said Lembergs, adding that «competition between two of the leading clubs should be a special event, a celebration. But if something as grand as this is held in some slum, it does not contribute to the prestige of basketball as a sport».


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