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"I don't take money from people who kill", basketball player Thomas Heurtel justifies his exile in Russia


In an interview with L'Équipe, the now ex-international justified his choice to sign a very profitable contract with Zénith Saint-Petersburg even if it deprives him of selection.

At 33 and with 99 caps, Thomas Heurtel is now enjoying the heyday of the Russian club Zénith Saint-Petersburg in Russia.

The point guard signed up last fall for one season with an optional year.

A choice that pushed him to violate the charter of the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) stipulating that any player playing with a Russian or Belarusian club could no longer claim to wear the jersey of the France team.

Now on the sidelines of the national team, Heurtel confided in his choice dictated by the greed, he does not hide it.

In an interview with


, he explains why he did not respect the charter of the federation he had signed.

It was the best situation for me and my family.

Both financially but also in terms of the game project. The coach and the club gave me the keys to the team, I knew that I was going to play a lot.

Getting back to having fun on the pitch after a difficult year in Madrid.

And that was what I wanted

, ”said the former player of FC Barcelona but also of Real Madrid, two heavyweights in European basketball.

Read alsoBasketball: for the president of the FFFB, "it's over" for Heurtel in the France team

Aware of his delicate situation, Heurtel did not however definitively give up the Blues with whom he had played the last Euro.

The Euro went well despite the defeat in the final.

So it's a shame but we'll see what will happen.

If I come back or not

, "he adds, detailing in passing wanting to"

garner as much as possible for the future

", even if his future with the France team seems blocked for the moment: "

It's sure that I shit not to be in the France team.

(…) This situation makes me sad.

And being criticized every day by people who don't necessarily know the situation, it's not pleasant


But if we take this logic we cannot play in China, nor in Israel

Heurtel assumes his choices but finds it difficult to accept that he is criticized for playing in a country which attacked its neighbor in February 2022. “

But if we take this logic, we cannot play in China or in Israel.

So if we take this logic, we apply it to everyone, not just me

, ”defends the colossus of 1m98 and 90 kg who does not support the aggression of Ukraine.

“OK, they do this.

But that doesn't mean I endorse what they do.

Here, I don't know anyone who is for this war.


"But I don't take money from people who kill ...

", tries to sum up the Hérault native, questioned immediately on the situation of his club, property of Gazprom, a Russian state company which finances indirectly the war.

The player retorts: “

It doesn't work like that.

Sorry to tell you this but that's what the losers think.

All these people who don't have the opportunity to be in my place, to earn what I earn.

It's fine to say on social networks, on TV

 : "In his place, I wouldn't have come to Russia. You have to think of the children, of the people who are dying..."

It's hypocrisy, people don't put themselves in other people's shoes.


Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-03-24

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