Ergin Ataman: Turkey’s not in World Cup because of FIBA’s bulls–t

2023-02-28T21:28:23+00:00 2023-02-28T21:31:54+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

28/Feb/23 21:28

Turkey is out of the World Cup for the first time this century.

By Eurohoops Team/

Turkey head coach Ergin Ataman blamed FIBA’s format of the midseason qualifying “Windows” for the national team’s elimination from the 2023 World Cup. Turkey was mathematically left out of contention in November after a loss to Serbia in Belgrade.

“We fought well. We’d like to have the Turkish national team in the World Cup. This is nothing but FIBA’s bullshit,” Ataman said to TRT Spor after the win of Turkey over Belgium in the last game of the World Cup Qualifiers. “During this qualifying period, we couldn’t use our players from the NBA except for two games played in summer. Likewise, we couldn’t benefit from having many of our EuroLeague players. As a result, Turkey won’t be able to participate in the World Cup because of FIBA’s Windows bulls–t.”

For the first time since 1998, the Turkish national team will be absent from the world championship. The “12 Giant Men” finished fourth in Group I, below qualified Latvia (1st), Serbia (2nd) and Greece (3rd).

With the World Cup Qualifiers now over, Ataman is confident that the younger players of Turkey will lead the team to the Olympic Games.

“We have a very high quality generation,” Ataman mentioned. “We have quality youth. We have very valuable players fighting for Turkey in the NBA. The World Cup qualifiers are now over. There will be Olympic qualifiers this summer. We want to join with a full squad and advance from the first round of the qualifiers. We will look ahead. As I said, the atmosphere created by Turkish basketball fans in a small city in Belgium, beyond the victory, once again showed the whole world the power of the Turks. Thank you very much to all of them.”

Ataman was also appreciative of the Belgian Federation for donating the revenues from the game for the relief of the victims of the recent catastrophic earthquake in Turkey.

“We also have to thank Belgium and the Belgian Federation. They announced that they were with Turkey during the match and they donated the income of the match to our country. This shows that we, as the Turkish nation, are not alone. The whole Europe, the whole world is with us. Hopefully we will get through these difficult days. Of course, we had very important losses in our country, we are all very sad.”