The French Basketball Federation announced even before the European Championship that basketball players who will compete in Belarus or Russia will not be able to play for the national team, and before EuroBasket the athletes had to sign a contract that they would definitely not go to compete in Russia.
However, the 33-year-old Frenchman did not keep his word and signed a contract with Zenit after breaking the contract with his country’s federation.
Th. Heurtel spent the last seasons in Spain – in the Real Madrid and Barcelona clubs.
The player was fired from the Barcelona club, and was suspended from the Real team last season.
After it became clear that the basketball player is going to Russia, the French basketball federation announced that if the defender plays at least one match wearing the Zenit outfit, the door to the national team is closed for him.
“Although our basketball federation was informed that Thomas was in contact with foreign teams, including Russian clubs, we never received any information about the player’s agreement with the Zenit team.
At the beginning of the preparation camp for the European Championship, the player had signed an agreement in which the basketball player promised not to sign a contract with Russian or Belarusian clubs.
If the player makes his debut in the shirt of the Russian club, he will be in breach of the agreement. In this case, the defender would no longer meet the criteria according to which we select players for international tournaments, including the 2024 Paris Olympic Games,” reads the letter published by the federation.
Next year, the World Basketball Championship will be held, where the French have a real chance to win a ticket. Lithuanians and French play in the same selection group, are the leaders and have 7 wins and one loss each.
In 2024, the Paris Olympic Games will be held, where France will be the host of the competition and will not participate in the selection – it will immediately be among the 12 best basketball teams in the world.