By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia president Salome Zurabishvili called Tornike Shengelia’s move to Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow as something “unacceptable” in a statement made on her Facebook page. Shengelia, the captain of the Georgian national team, officially signed with CSKA Thursday.
“It is unfortunate for me and unacceptable for the President of Georgia, the decision of the captain of the Georgian basketball team to move to Moscow’s ‘CSKA’,” Zurabishvil wrote.
Diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia have been severed since the 2008 five-day war between the two countries and the recognition of the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent territories.
CSKA, where Shengelia will continue his career after six years with Baskonia, is known as the “Club of the Army.” Shengelia’s former Georgian national team teammate Manuchar Markhoishvili also played for CSKA in 2014-2015.
“I don’t intend to justify myself. I’m going to play basketball. This won’t change my relationship with Georgia and I hope it will not change the attitude of the Georgian people towards me either,” Shengelia said to Rustavi-2 TV channel, per Spanish news agency EFE.
The Georgian Basketball Federation expressed its support to Shengelia with an official statement that says: “The Georgian Federation is convinced that, as before, Tornike will always defend the honor and interests of his homeland and the national team, regardless of which club he joins. The captain of the national team will repeatedly make us happy with his successful sports career and under his leadership, the Georgian national team will definitely achieve significant victories.”