Turkey is the next opponent of the Belgian Lions at the European Basketball Championship on Tuesday, but threatens to step out of the tournament. According to the Turkish Basketball Federation, their player Furkan Korkmaz was attacked by some of the opponent’s players during the match against Georgia yesterday. The Georgian security forces are also said to have lent a hand.
The match between Turkey and host country Georgia in the Georgian capital Tbilisi was a close one yesterday. During the match, Turk Furkan Korkmaz and Georgian Duda Sanadze were ruled out after a disturbance.
Turkish national coach Ergin Ataman was also sent off in the final phase of the match after he attacked one of the referees in the 2nd overtime. Georgia went on to win 88-83, but it looks like the match will have another twist.
Afterwards, Turkish federation chairman Omer Onan claimed that Korkmaz was attacked in the catacombs of the Tbilisi Arena after his connection. “By some Georgia players who were not on the scoresheet, along with the excluded player (Sanadze, ed.) and the Georgian police,” said Onan.
We want to see all camera images of the tunnel, from the first to the last minute. If we are not allowed to view those images, we will leave this tournament.
“A player who is excluded and then attacked on his way to the dressing room, that is inadmissible. After the matches, about 30 police officers confronted us.”
“I demand that the FIBA take action. We want to see all camera images of the tunnel, from the first to the last minute. If we are not allowed to view those images, we will leave this tournament,” Onan said threatening language.
Assistant coach Hakan Demir also spoke disgrace at the press conference. “We came here to play basketball, but there has been a scandal off the field. This had nothing to do with sports. We are completely stripped of the slack security measures we have seen here today.”
22 seconds gone
On top of that: Turkey has protested the result of the match because the game clock kept running during the clash with Korkmaz. No less than 22 seconds ticked away.
“The game was 22 seconds shorter today”, assistant coach Demir reacted. “The fact that it wasn’t just 1 or 2 seconds, but 22, makes us think it wasn’t just a mistake.”
belgian lions at EK basketball
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The top 4 advance to the 1/8th finals. The European Championship is organized in Germany, Georgia, Italy and the Czech Republic. The Belgian Lions play their group matches in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.