Ergin Ataman blasts FIBA for Korkmaz's assault, wants to replay the game

Edvinas Jablonskis
Daily Editor
2022-09-05 13:05

Following the various incident after yesterday's game between Turkey and Georgia, Turkish national team head coach Ergin Ataman gave a detailed statement.

Credit: FIBA

Following the various incident after yesterday's game between Turkey and Georgia, Turkish national team head coach Ergin Ataman gave a detailed statement.

Ataman addressed the Furkan Korkmaz fight in the tunnel, Turkey's protest over lost 22 seconds in the game, Cedi Osman's technical foul at the end of the second overtime, and his ejection.

Full Ergin Ataman's statement:

Player of the Game
Sandro  Mamukelashvili
Sandro Mamukelashvili
Points 20
Accuracy 8-17
Rebounds 12
Assists 1

"The biggest organization in European basketball, EuroBasket... what happened on the court and in the locker room is a scandal. After Furkan Korkmaz was disqualified, he went to the locker room with one of our staff members, but three Georgian players… What I'm told is that it was [Tornike] Shengelia, [Goga] Bitadze, and the ejected player (Duda Sanadze), who directly attacked Korkmaz in the locker room.

And our staff member also got hit. He went down. When the game finished, I went to my locker room, and I saw that Furkan Korkmaz was in the coach's locker room. They protected him in the locker room and put him there. This is a scandal. Everything is a scandal here, starting from our arrival in Georgia. Every day, especially on the first and second days, we came there with 40-45 minutes of traffic in the practice or on the game day.

At the hotel, there is no special food for the athletes. Okay, that's fine, but FIBA must protect the players in the game. What happened yesterday is a scandal. At the end of the game, when my players were going to the locker room, local police attacked my players. They tried to push us into the locker room, and they attacked our [federation's] vice-president. Everything is incredible.

That's one part. The other part, during the game, we played 22 seconds less. It's a basketball game. If the game is in overtime and we have the last ball, we had the ball for only two seconds.

We tried to complain to the referees during the game, and they said, 'No problem.' Then, immediately after the game, we make our official protest because 22 seconds is a long period of time in a basketball game. Now we are waiting for FIBA to put a strategy to cancel the game or to let the game play for 4.5 minutes.

If not, it's something really ridiculous. About my ejection from the game, the referees gave an unsportsmanlike foul to Cedi Osman for a small tactical foul, and it's also ridiculous. I deserved to get disqualified because I made a long protest for this call that you call in the second overtime, in this kind of game.

It's a ridiculous unsportsmanlike foul. I complained about the call, this is what happened here. This is big damage to world basketball because these players came here to play basketball.

We came here to enjoy sport, not come here to make war with anybody. Also, it's a big surprise that players who have such careers as Shengelia, Bitadze come to the locker room and attack my player, Korkmaz. It's a big surprise for me," Ataman said.

Although Korkmaz is physically okay, Ataman said that it might affect the whole team mentally.

"You've seen the practice. The psychological [aspect] of my players is not good now, especially Korkmaz's. He's an NBA player. Imagine this happening in the NBA," said Ataman.

Turkish basketball federation vice-president Omer Onan claimed that Turkey would leave EuroBasket if required footage of the incident in the tunnel won't be provided.

"If the security camera footage doesn't come to us, we will leave the tournament," Onan said in an official statement.

Asked whether Turkey received such footage, Ataman didn't have the answer. However, the Turkish NT press officer Baris Kuyucu confirmed to BasketNews that Turkey's delegation is still waiting for CCTV footage of the incident between Korkmaz and Georgian national team members.

However, Ataman confirmed that at the moment, Turkey isn't seriously considering to withdraw from EuroBasket.

"No, we are not thinking about leaving the tournament," Ataman said to the media. "Of course, if it continues, how can we play basketball? We talked with other teams, they're also complaining."

"Everybody is complaining about [different] situations. I talked with the Montenegro staff yesterday and Sergio Scariolo. Everybody is complaining. Of course, if we won't have the security, we will think about [withdrawing from EuroBasket].

"Our government today called me and Turkish federation president Hedo Turkoglu. Everybody is involved now. Firstly, we need the security of our players here. The police can't come to the locker room and attack our players or staff members," Ataman added.

It was not the only moment that caused heated moments or controversy. Turkey also made the protest to FIBA because, during the Korkmaz-Sanadze incident, 22 seconds were lost from the clock and were never reverted back.

Ataman said that Turkey is still waiting for FIBA's decision.

"FIBA told us that they have 24 hours to respond [to our protest]," Ataman said.


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