Thomas Heurtel signs sworn statement to remain eligible for EuroBasket

2022-08-02 13:51
Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

On Monday, the French Basketball Federation made a strong decision: all players competing in Russia or Belarus are no longer eligible to join the French national team due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Given the fact that the decision will also apply to staff members, the players or staff members who have contracts with a Russian or Belarussian club won't be selected for the upcoming EuroBasket 2022 and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

A situation which could possibly concern Thomas Heurtel, who was reportedly close to a deal with Zenit Saint Petersburg.

But ultimately, the French guard will indeed remain at the disposal of coach Vincent Collet. According to information from RMC radio, the 33-year-old player has signed a sworn statement that he will not sign with any Russian team in order to stay with the Blues and make the cut for the EuroBasket.

"My agents are in contact with clubs. Russian clubs, in particular, if you want to know. But also other EuroLeague teams, in Spain. We'll see what happens in the future," Heurtel said in a press conference held Tuesday (August 2).

Asked whether he signed the sworn statement requested by the French Federation, he replied: "Yes, and you know it. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here."

Heurtel added that whether he understands the federation's position or not is irrelevant. 

"It's not your problem. You ask if I signed it. I did," he answered.

However, the experienced guard doesn't rule out a possible move to Russia in the near future. Asked if his signature means that Russian teams are no longer an option, Heurtel replied:

"That's not what I said. I said that we will see in due time what I will do next season."

However, the federation's decision has been the cause of some friction. Per the same report, Evan Fournier did not like it at all. Still, the New York Knicks guard signed the certificate whilst expressing his reservations.

A couple of the few French players who currently have contracts with Russian clubs are Louis Labeyrie and Livio Jean-Charles. In any case, the two players were not on Collet's list for the EuroBasket. 

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