Turkey’s 88-83 loss to co-hosts Georgia on Sunday didn’t even scratch the surface as far as headlines go in this insane clash.
Aside from Turkey officially protesting the result of the game, due to 22 seconds mysteriously disappearing from the game clock during an altercation between Furkan Korkmaz and Georgia’s Duda Sanadze, now there are allegations of brawling off the court.
Turkish representatives have revealed that Korkmaz – who was ejected along with Sanadze – was attacked in the hallway outside of the locker rooms of the Tbilisi Arena and asked for the punishment of those who did it.
Whether or not FIBA decide to investigate this remains to be seen but Turkey have stated that if they do not do anything, they will walk out of the tournament.
“While Furkan Korkmaz was walking in the hallway to the locker rooms with our trainer, Georgia’s players who were not in the active roster attacked him together with the ejected player and the police,” Turkish federation vice-president and former player Omer Onan said in a lengthy statement.
“There should not be an attack on the player that goes to the locker room. At the end of the match, 30 policemen each pushed us into a fight. We got into a fight with Georgia’s official police.
“I am calling out to FIBA and I have also told FIBA’s officials. Let no one deceive themselves or think that we are stupid. They will bring us all the camera footage from that corridor minute by minute without anything missing. If those cameras do not come to us, we will leave this tournament.”
These claims by Onan were backed up by assistant Hakan Demir, who attended the post-game press conference in place of head coach Ergin Ataman, who himself was ejected at the end of the second period of overtime.
“Today, the Georgian players and some security guards in the hallway disrespected us,” Demir said. “We came here to play basketball, not for anything else. So everything should stay on the court, but unfortunately, a big scandal took place off the court.
“Such things do not suit the spirit of sports. A basketball game was supposed to be played today, but unfortunately what happened went beyond basketball.
“We have two more games left in Georgia and, unfortunately, what happened in the corridors today was against the spirit of the sport. We expected a more gentlemanly treatment, but unfortunately, it did not happen.
“There was a basketball game with two overtimes on the court. Sometimes we played well and sometimes Georgia played well, but after our player, Furkan Korkmaz, was disqualified, three opposing team players attacked him in the corridors, while security guards attacked our player and our trainer.
“We came here to play basketball, not box. Therefore, we are very disturbed by the security weakness experienced today. We will follow up on this issue as well.”
Despite the controversy, Turkey did congratulate Georgia on their first win of EuroBasket, while the Turks drop to 2-1.