Fenerbahce’s Turkish players have collectively decided not to represent the national team during the World Cup qualifiers that begin in November.
And that joint decision has left Turkish Basketball Federation president Hedo Turkoglu is less than pleased saying that the team, who he referred to as his ‘friends’, did not consult him on the move.
Speaking to Turkish newspaper, “Hurriyet” Turkoglu said:
It’s unfortunate statement. Coach Ufuk Sarica and Kerem Tunçeri have to sit down and select a preliminary team for the World Cup Qualifiers. As you know, this has to include 24 players. Next week, Coach Sarica and his staff will announce the rosters for the matches. Those friends made this statement early without consulting with us. That hurts me as president of the federation. We are facing such a thing for the first time. I don’t know who will be invited by Coach Sarica. But this statement came when we are still undecided and that made us really sad. I do not think that when the issue is the national team neither our players nor our clubs will be insensitive. Because there is only one holly jersey and that’s the national team’s jersey. I believe when their names will be announced, those friends (ed. note: Fenerbahce’s players) will do what needs to be done. We never want anyone to be annoyed because of national teams. We will continue to do our duty. This problem between FIBA and EuroLeague is not only for November. It will be a problem in February, even in June. We need to solve this in some kind of way. I hope everyone understands that basketball is hurt in here and one step has to be taken in order to solve it.