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The French were kicked out of the World Cup. The stars of the national team are sure that the point is sanctions against Russia

Date: April 21, 2024 Time: 01:41:26

The Basketball World Cup is just gaining momentum. The first round of groups is not over yet, but a big scandal has already broken out. And someone was worried that all the fun would begin only in the playoffs. Thanks to the French team. Or Latvia, whichever is more convenient.

It all started already in the first match of the French, whose schedule pitted them against a very strong Canadian team. Both teams were rightly considered medal contenders, but only the Americans, who ripped the French in half in the second half, were able to confirm their status. The French, however, were not discouraged. They needed two victories: over the Latvian team without the main star and over the frankly weak Lebanese team. How could anyone imagine that these two conditions could not be met?

France vs Canada

Photo by: FIBA

The Latvians remain almost the main opening of the tournament. It seemed that the peak of the “golden” generation of this team had already passed, and the injury of the main star Kristaps Porzingis ended all hopes of even the most optimistic fans of the Baltic team.

But the World Cup is the same tournament where anything can happen in a single match. And Latvia, led by the former Lokomotiv Kuban coach Luka Banki, managed to catch up, believe in itself and show very beautiful basketball with a lot of movement and explosions.

Was the French team worse than the rival? Probably not. But they certainly weren’t any better either. In an even match, the teams reached the final, where the Balts left their rivals with a great chance to win. Sylvain Francisco hit a triple for the win. Had he scored a save try, there would have been no fiasco and the playoff gates would have opened for Rudy Gobert and his partners immediately after an easy win over Lebanon. There was no doubt about this.

But the coup, like victory, did not come. France lost to Latvia, whose players declared it the biggest victory in the country’s basketball history after the game. But France had to shyly hide her eyes on the ground. But the veteran of the French national team Nicolas Batum did not remain silent. Even before the start of the tournament, he said that this was his last World Cup and that after the home Olympics the path to the national team would be completely closed.

Evan Fournier after being hit against Latvia

Photo by: FIBA

“A big disappointment of course, we fell apart mentally and physically, they were very strong and we didn’t seem united. This match sums up what has been going on for the last five or six weeks.

We are a very good team and we have shown it in recent years. After what happened this summer, everyone has to take a good look at themselves: the coaches, the players, the association. We had to let go of some players due to certain conditions.

It was my last World Cup, I missed a few summer seasons, but I did the best I could for this jersey. But when you lose some guys… We’re together, we’ve been creating something for years… We’ve made a mistake, but a lot of people have to look at themselves from the outside. I have one year left in the French team. We need everything in Paris, better conditions, everything. I don’t care about politics, we need the best French team. I messed up my last World Championship and that makes me very angry,” Batyum said.

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Without specific first and last names, everything was immediately clear to everyone. Batum’s speech was addressed to the leadership of the French Basketball Federation, which has banned players playing in Russia from wearing the uniform of the national team. This high-profile story hit Thomas Ertel hard, who signed a contract with Zenit. The defender, who is one of the leaders of the French team, was sanctioned by his own federation. “I don’t give a damn,” said Ertel then, who really wasn’t even called up to the first training camp before the World Cup.

It seemed that Ertel should have been easily replaced by another star point guard – Nando de Colo, who, like Batum, also wanted to sing the last victorious songs in the jersey of the national team. But Nando’s performance was not impressive. His 12 points against Canada were marred by a plus/minus of -28. And against the Latvians, De Colo did not score a single point in 19 minutes of play.

Of course, Batyum’s claims are justified and triggered by a powerful emotional charge following the “biggest failure in history.” This is how coach Vincent Collet described the defeat. It’s strange, but at the press conference Collet tried to get philosophical and didn’t answer the key questions. In particular, about the problems with Rudy Gobert’s positional attacks and flirting. The strongest center of the tournament in the match against Latvia scored the first points of the match in the last quarter, and this hit remained the only one in the 26 minutes they were on the court.

Yes, France did not invite any of those who act in Russia to the meeting. But it is unlikely that anyone other than Ertel will be able to enter the final application with high chances. What’s it for? And to the fact that Batyum’s statement is very reminiscent of a search for excuses. The federation’s decision was made a year ago and none of the players tried to ask questions publicly or worry about the strength of the team. Because? Were you sure you could manage without Ertel? And what did you think when the whole team signed the documents of the federation?

France’s troubles came at the right time. Next year he will play at the Olympics at home, and the young star of the French people, Victor Vembanyama, will strengthen himself in a year in the NBA. His presence will surely strengthen the national team, but the current scandal may bring back the French who are now playing in Russia.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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