By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
One week before the final decision of FIBA about the World Cup wildcards, Italy is officially out of the race. As it was announced via a press release the federal council of the Italian Basketball Federation “having heard the report of the president Petrucci, has unanimously decided to withdraw the application for a World Cup wild card”.
Among the reasons given for Italy’s decision was the 500.000 USD guaranty fee for the wild card, but Petrucci mentioned the sum of 830.000 euros as a fee. As the Italian Federation president Giovanni Petrucci said: ” “The financial demands of FIBA for a wildcard are not ethically acceptable”. Meanwhile, Italian national team coach Simone Pianigiani expressed his disappointment in Skysports television station: “The wild card will go to teams that we beat at Eurobasket. I think two European teams between Russia, Greece and Turkey will get to the World Cup. We beat Turkey three times over the last two summers. We are disappointed”. In total four wild cards will be given, two of them are expected to end up in European teams and the other two to Brazil and China.