The captain of the French basketball team Nicolas Batum criticized the organization of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris on Saturday in an interview with RMC Sport, while his sport has not officially found a site.
According to Batum, not offering basketball a leading room would have an impact on the image of France, while this sport is king especially in the United States.
“Team USA, they are the attraction of the Olympic Games, they are the stars, the gods of the Olympics, he says.
It's a fact, it's not to highlight basketball.
And all of that can affect the image of my sport and of Paris 2024. After that, we're going to Los Angeles in 2028 (for the Olympic Games, editor's note), and I know what we're going to take as French people.
I don't want to be the laughingstock of the world.
Because after Paris, it will be top level.
But more than the place, it is the lack of preparation of the organizers of the 2024 Olympics that annoys Batum.
“I don't care if we play in Lille, I already played there at Euro 2015 and it was one of the biggest kifs of my career, he explained to RMC Sport.
But the problem is bigger than that.
We do the Olympics in France, we are an extraordinary European capital... And we ask ourselves this question (to know where the tournament will take place, editor's note) twenty months before.
“We are in Paris, damn it.
We have a great overall French team, we have the Games at home, and twenty months before we don't know where we don't care about volleyball, where we don't care about handball, where we don't care about basketball.
That's what pisses me off...", he continued.
The choice of the basketball site has been the subject of strong criticism from the players of the France team for several months, a movement initiated by the back Evan Fournier.
The preliminary phase of the tournament was initially to take place at the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles, in the south of the capital, before the Paris Olympics Organizing Committee preferred to give it up.
Since the outbreak of this controversy, basketball has still not found a base, the latest trend being that the qualifying phases take place in Lille.