Chris Goulding is punched in the face during the brawl. Picture: Spin
Chris Goulding is punched in the face during the brawl. Picture: Spin

‘Case clo$ed’: Bogut’s corruption dig at FIBA

SYDNEY Kings import Andrew Bogut has insinuated corruption within basketball's governing body, FIBA, after its imposition of sanctions and hefty fines over an on-court melee between the Philippine and Australian national teams during their World Cup qualifier in Manilla.

Thirteen players and two coaches were suspended for unsportsmanlike behaviour and a total of $360,000 in fines issued, with most of the sanctions against the Philippines.

But it was Chris Goulding's one-game ban and the perceived leniency in FIBA's treatment of the Philippines that outraged many.

Australian Boomer and former NBA star Bogut tweeted: "If you are confused and shocked and what not with the penalties handed out in this FIBA brawl, check where the 2023 World Cup is. Case clo$ed," Bogut tweeted.

The Philippines, along with Japan and Indonesia, is set to host the 19th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Former Boomer Shane Heal, who strongly condemned FIBA's actions, discussed the prospect of Australians skipping Philippine home games - which would include the 2023 World Cup - in the future.

"If I'm an Australian Boomer, especially if I'm in the NBA, I'm not going back to the Philippines," Heal said on Thursday night on Fox Sports News.

"I'm not going back there. They needed to be sent a message for world basketball that that sort of behaviour from the Filipino players and some of their staff is unacceptable in the sport of basketball.

"And that message hasn't been sent."

Chris Goulding's agent, Daniel Moldovan, released a strongly worded statement in the aftermath of FIBA's decision.

"I am extremely disappointed in the ruling handed down by FIBA," part of Moldovan's statement read.

"Chris Goulding neither provoked or retaliated to a vicious mob assault and has been suspended by FIBA. This is quite simply a disgrace."

The Philippines' Andray Blache shoves Thon Maker out of the way so he can reach Daniel Kickert.
The Philippines' Andray Blache shoves Thon Maker out of the way so he can reach Daniel Kickert.

Thon Maker, who received a three-game ban for his involvement in the melee, also took to Twitter to voice his opinion.

"While remaining respectful of FIBA as a governing body for basketball with a duty to protect the integrity and sanctity of our game, I disagree with their decision to sanction me for three games," he wrote.

"I tried to break-up a conflict, but without security things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation where I needed to act to protect my teammates and myself from imminent harm.

"As a human being I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help from security."

Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said it was unlikely the organisation would appeal the bans.

"As we stated at the outset, Basketball Australia sincerely regrets the incident," Moore said.

"We acknowledge the sanctions handed down against Australian players and acknowledge the sanctions imposed against Philippines players and officials involved in the incident.

"We are seeking further clarification from FIBA about possible sanctions against other officials and fans involved in the incident."



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