The playmaker, who had just won a silver medal with the Blues at the Euro, had signed, like all the members of the French teams, a charter attesting that he would not engage with a Russian or Belarusian team as long as the conflict with Ukraine would last, under penalty of no longer being selected for the France team.
Article written by
Reading time : 1 min.
It’s an unlikely turnaround. The Zenit Saint-Petersburg basketball club announced on Wednesday, September 21, the signing of Frenchman Thomas Heurtel, free since the end of his contract with Real Madrid, for two seasons. A commitment which, indirectly, sends him out of the France team for the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games.
Welcome to the squad, Thomas Heurtel
— Zenit basketball club (@zenitbasket) September 21, 2022
Indeed, at the beginning of August, the French Basketball Federation had clarified its position vis-à-vis the sanctions against Russia and Belarus, in the context of the war in Ukraine. The FFBB had announced that the French players and technicians under contract with a Russian or Belarusian club could not be selected for the France team “during the conflict“.
The authority had also asked the members of the male and female selections to sign a charter attesting that they will not engage with training from these two countries. A commitment broken by Heurtel by joining the Russian club, just a few days after playing in the Eurobasket final with the Blues.
The FFBB made it clear that in the event of a violation of the document, the person in question “would then no longer meet the selection criteria for the next international events, including the 2024 Olympic Games“.