The ending of the FIBA U18 European Championship game on Saturday was filled with controversy.

The matchup between Poland and Turkey had an unexpected ending after members of both teams refused to complete the final five minutes due to unsafe playing conditions, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

Heavy rains and extreme humidity reportedly made the Mika Antic elementary school gym in Nis, Serbia “sweltering” as it already had limited air conditioning. 

Turkish guard Yagiz Aksu exited the game in the third quarter with a groin injury after slipping while bringing the ball up the court, according to ESPN.

Nearing the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter, Polish power forward Jakub Szumert reportedly fell chest-first on the court and soon fainted while walking back to the bench. 

The Poland-Turkey game ended with a strange protest.
Screengrab via Twitter/@SJ_Hoops

He was then taken to a local hospital in an ambulance where he spent the night. 

Following Szumert’s scary moment, both teams thought the game would be called with Turkey leading 78-63, however, officials decided to continue.

Both teams stopped competing in protest, according to ESPN.

They moved the ball around, caused intentional turnovers and ran out the shot clock to avoid further injury. 

Both Poland and Turkey stopped competing due to the conditions of the gymnasium.
Both Poland and Turkey stopped competing due to the conditions of the gymnasium.
Screengrab via Twitter/@SJ_Hoops

The next day, FIBA told ESPN that they were going to investigate the court conditions. 

“The game between Poland and Turkey should have been stopped by the game officials because of the adverse conditions inside that gym,” FIBA wrote in the emailed statement. “Our Competitions department will investigate this matter to understand why it was not done.”

Givony’s on-the-ground reporting of the situation was chronicled on his Twitter with videos and pictures from inside the gym, but the content was taken down due to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice.

Givony said FIBA was the one to file the complaint.

“Update from Serbia. FIBA filed a complaint and had my account locked because of my legitimate news reporting about the unsafe conditions at their tournament and the subsequent decision by players to protest and refuse to compete in the final five minutes of the game,” Givony wrote in a tweet on Sunday

Givony is back in his account as of Monday, and posted that Szumert returned to the court for Poland following his collapse on Saturday and that conditions were “back to normal” at the gym. 

Source link