Ataman, Itoudis react to Greek fans booing Turkey’s national anthem

By Aris Barkas/ [email protected]

Both Ergin Ataman and Dimitris Itoudis were direct in addressing some Greek fans booing Turkey’s national anthem.

“I love Greece,” underlined the senior national team selector of Turkey, “We need more respect for our national anthem because we are friends. I saw people influenced by the political situation. This situation is created by the media. This situation is not good. As a fan, a basketball coach and a member of a basketball team, I think we must be respectful to each other. But we are friends, this is the reason we are here.”

Many fans at sold-out OAKA restraining from such an approach to the national anthem of the visiting team failed to reduce the overall negative impact. Certainly, the relationship between the neighboring countries has been complicated politically.

“Because of this question I have to speak for those who booed. Of course, it’s bad, but it’s not something that can be solved at a press conference,” mentioned Itoudis, the head coach of Greece and also of Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Beko at the club level, “I am proud to be Greek, but we have to say what’s bad. Not only me but everyone. I hope that we will reach that level. The essence is that the majority behaved properly during the Turkish national anthem and I don’t want to open a dialogue with those who didn’t.”

Putting in the finishing touches on the preparations for the approaching international window consisting of 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and the 2022 EuroBasket, Greece and Turkey meeting wrapped up the 31st International Tournament Acropolis Aegean Friday. Greece won and ranked first in the four-team tournament.

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