Remove Phillippines as co-hosts of 2023 FIBA World Cup!!
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The 2nd July 2018 will go down in World Basketball's Hall of Shame after the disgusting and horrific scenes that occurred during the Phillippines vs Australia Asian World Cup Qualifier.
Let me be clear that as an Australian, I won't be sitting here and saying that our players were blameless because a couple of them went way beyond what was deemed acceptable during that fight. We don't condone violence of any kind and our players who are guilty should and will be held to account for their actions.
What concerns me, however, is the behaviour of the Phillippines players! When you have a coach that directly encourages his players to hit the opposition, that is bringing the game into disrepute. When you have a player that obliges, well, there's bound to be a reaction. Both acts were unacceptable but it's what followed after those 2 acts that was sickening, disgusting and demeaning to the great sport of Basketball.
1) You have one bench clear and start throwing punches at players from behind!
2) You have 5 on 1 assaults where a Phillippines person holds an Aussie player down while the Aussie is being kicked and attacked by several others.
3) You have an Aussie player being held by an event marshall while someone from the Filipino media punches him in the face!
4)You have people throwing bottles, possibly from the stands and then someone else throwing a chair which hit an Aussie player!
5) You had the Phillippines players taking selfies and showing no remorse for their behaviour whatsoever immediately after the fight finished.
Let's put this into perspective.
For a game to get to this point, the referees clearly lost control but for the sort of behaviour to occur where bottles and chairs get thrown with players being held on the ground and assaulted, not just by players but by other officials (ball-boys and media), I'm sorry but for a country that has been announced as one of the co-hosts of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, this is unacceptable beyond belief and action has to be taken.
While Australia is not blameless for the events of July 2nd; if a team such as Australia cannot travel to the Phillippines to play a basketball game in a safe environment, how can you reasonably expect other nations to travel to play games there? Shouldn't the safety of athletes who are participating in a FIBA-sanctioned competition be of top priority? No NBA team is going to want their players to travel to a World Cup in the Phillippines if their players are at risk of getting assaulted and that will seriously diminish the quality of the competition which won't be a good outcome for FIBA.
As a result of what has transpired on July 2nd, we, the fans of basketball are urging you to revoke the Phillippines right to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup for the safety of international basketballers.
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