The first no of Italian sport to face Russia on a playground comes from basketball. The 2023 World Cup Qualifiers match, theoretically scheduled for July 1 in Pesaro, is not to be done: the will expressed strong and clear by Federbasket and totally shared by Coni. “The national basketball team has decided not to play against Russia – the admission of Giovanni Malagò, number one in Italian sport, on the sidelines of today’s meeting of the National Council – and in this CONI is 100% on the side of the Federation. Iceland and the Netherlands will do the same, the other two teams that are part of our same qualifying round for the World Cup. We are really sorry for FIBA’s choice, we don’t understand it. So what about FIFA, which ousted the teams from morning to night? The IOC was very clear, only basketball and biathlon did not follow the instructions”.
Basket, the president of Coni Malagò: “We will not play against Russia”
Comments from the past few days, when Federbasket president Gianni Petrucci defined the decision of the world basketball government to wait at least until May before giving birth to a definitive solution on the fate of Russia (and Belarus), for the moment concrete: Italbasket announces publicly that it will not take the field against Russia. “International basketball is distinguished by a position that will go down in history, namely that of waiting until May to take new measures against Russia. I’m really disappointed and didn’t think it would go this far. It was not enough that almost all the international federations excluded Russia from the competitions and that the CAS confirmed the arrangements made in this matter by the Italian Football Federation. Even the IOC’s recommendation was not enough, which was obviously mistaken for a “conference”. There is a war, what else should happen? Did they then assess, in FIBA, that in the second phase of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, there could be two matches between Russia and Ukraine? I don’t see what could change by May. It is clear that the athletes have no responsibility in this regard. As a consequence of the decisions of the other European countries and of what the President of CONI Giovanni Malagò has said, the FIP has decided, after having informed the Undersecretary for Sports Valentina Vezzali, that the national team will not play the fifth match of the first qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup. against Russia scheduled for July 1, 2022. A similar decision was taken by the Federations of the Netherlands and Iceland, which are both part of the same group as the Azzurri”, explains Gianni Petrucci, president of the Italian Basketball Federation, to the Federal Council.