Furkan Korkmaz: Turkey national team claims NBA player was attacked by opposing team members in EuroBasket 2022 game


The Turkey national team is threatening to withdraw from EuroBasket 2022 after one of its team members, NBA player Furkan Korkmaz of the Philadelphia 76ers, was attacked on Sunday after being kicked out of a game.

The Turkish team is demanding security footage from the corridor where, according to them, three players of the Georgian national team and security forces attacked Korkmaz.

Korkmaz, representing his native Turkey, was ejected after getting into an on-pitch confrontation with Georgia guard Duda Sanadze after being fouled in the fourth quarter of the competition on Sunday. Both players can be seen in a video of the game engaging in a heated exchange of blows before both were eventually knocked out of the game.

In a statement, Turkish Basketball Federation vice-president Γ–mer Onan said: “While Furkan Korkmaz was walking down the hallway to the locker rooms with our coach, he was attacked by Georgian players who were not on the active list.” He claimed that security officials, too were involved.

CNN reached out to the Georgia Basketball National Federation, but didn’t get an immediate response. The 76ers declined to comment on the incident.

Korkmaz has not spoken publicly about the incident but tweeted three Turkish flag emojis on his verified Twitter account. According to a source, Korkmaz was unharmed during the incident.

Turkey deputy head coach Hakan Demir told reporters in a news conference that it was three Georgian players and security personnel who attacked the 76ers guard.

Demir added that the Turkish team was there to play basketball and the off-court incident has no place in the sport.

β€œOf course everything should be on the pitch, but what happened in the aisles, what happened in the dressing rooms, unfortunately that wasn’t appropriate for the sport. We expected more hospitality and more gentlemanly demeanor.”

Meanwhile, Onan has urged the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to release camera footage from the corridor where the incident took place or threatened the team would leave the tournament.

When asked about the incident during the press conference, Georgia head coach Ilias Zouros said he had not heard anything about it.

FIBA Europe confirmed to CNN that they are investigating the incident but declined to comment until “all the facts have been established”.

Georgia won the match against Turkey 88-83 in double overtime at Tbilisi Arena. Turkey has officially protested, claiming that 22 seconds were mistakenly deducted from the clock during the incident.

Turkey plays Belgium on Tuesday, while Georgia takes on Bulgaria.