France excludes players and coaches signed to Russian or Belarusian teams

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Opting to sign a contract with a team located in Russia or Belarus will lead outside of the selections of France for the 2022 EuroBasket, and the 2023 FIBA World Cup and 2024 Olympic Games as well.

The French Federation of Basketball clarified that players or coaches tied to clubs in Russia or Belarus will not be available for upcoming international tournaments during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war. The decision applies to future international tournaments, including the next Olympic Games set to be held in Paris, France.

For now, the 15 players gearing up and fully ready to launch preparations for upcoming fixtures of the 2022 EuroBasket in September and 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in late August are not contracted to teams in Russia nor Belarus. However, Livio Jean-Charles and Louis Labeyrie, newcomers for CSKA and UNICS, respectively, were not called up by senior national team selector Vincent Collet.

Selected players must commit to not signing with a team in Russia and Belarus. The list includes Thomas Heurtel who is still a free agent after officially parting ways with Real Madrid in late June. He has since been reportedly linked to Zenit, yet another team based in Russia. But joining the Saint Petersburg outfit can’t be considered a possibility.

FFBB supporting the sanctions and measures against Russia and Belarus prompted this decision, as noted in the press release.

Teams from Russia and Belarus have already been excluded from the 2022-23 editions of European club continental competitions and also FIBA international tournaments.

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