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Mali players filmed fighting each other at women’s basketball World Cup

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2022-09-27
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Two players from the Mali team come to blows in the press area at the women's basketball World Cup in Sydney.

Basketball’s world governing body has opened an investigation after players on the Mali women’s team were filmed physically fighting one another following their World Cup loss to Serbia in Sydney.

The scuffle between Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou broke out during a post-match interview with Serbia’s Sasa Cado in the mixed zone and was captured by a Serbian news camera.

Kourouma is contracted with Stade Malien, a professional team based in Mali‘s capital city Bamako, while Dabou plays for Centre Dorinthie Basket.

A Fiba spokesperson confirmed it was aware of the incident.

“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,” said a statement provided to Guardian Australia.

“Following the incident, FIBA has opened an investigation. Once the investigation is concluded, FIBA will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures.”

Mali qualified for their second World Cup as a late replacement for Nigeria, who pulled out citing administrative difficulties around the sport in their country.

The lowest-ranked side at the tournament at No 37 in the world, Mali have lost their first four games of the tournament and are no longer in contention for the knockout stage.

The Malians have been somewhat competitive in patches but a 118-58 loss to Australia was a low point. They are still to play Group B co-leaders Canada, who were undefeated until Monday night’s thrilling three-point defeat to the Opals.

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