The women’s basketball team from Mali was seen on camera aggressively fighting after their World Cup loss to Serbia in Sydney, leading the Basketball’s governing body to initiate an investigation.
A Serbian television camera caught the incident involving Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou as it occurred during a post-match interview with Sasa Cado in the mixed zone. Dabou plays with Centre Dorinthie Basket, whereas Kourouma is under contract with Stade Malien, a professional team headquartered in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Kourouma was seen punching Dabou, prior to the arrival of other Mali players to calm down things in front of an obviously stunned Cado.
A statement provided to media: “FIBA acknowledged today that there was an altercation between Mali players in the mixed zone following the Group B game Serbia-Mali at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
“Following the incident, FIBA has opened an investigation. Once the investigation is concluded, FIBA will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures.
[Video credit:Sport Klub] pic.twitter.com/x6nVOWLEai
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Mali was a last-minute replacement for Nigeria, who withdrew due to organizational issues with the sport in their nation, and qualified for their second World Cup.
The Malians are the lowest-ranked side in the tournament at no.37 and is no longer in the race for the knockout stage. Mali, which has four points from four games and is currently last in Group B, will play Canada later on Tuesday.
The Malians had shown signs of competitiveness at times, but their defeat against Australia by a score of 118-58 was a low point. They still have to play the co-leaders of Group B, Canada, who lost to the Opals by a dramatic three points on Monday night.
On Tuesday, Puerto Rico overcame South Korea 92-73 to advance to the knockout round, joining Canada, France, Australia, and Serbia from Group B and the United States, China, and Belgium from Group A. Thursday’s quarterfinals are followed by Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship.