Australia: Goulding ban 'tough to swallow'
MANILA, Philippines – Basketball Australia (BA) has accepted FIBA's decision to suspend 3 of its players but admits that the suspension on Chris Goulding – who got mauled by Filipino players and officials – is “tough to swallow.”
“It’s unlikely that we would do [an appeal],” BA chief executive officer Andrew Moore said of FIBA's decision to suspend 3 Aussie players who figured in the full-blown brawl that erupted between the Philippines and Australia in the World Cup qualifier last July 2.
Daniel Kickert (5 games), Thon Maker (3 games) and Chris Goulding (1 game) got suspended from international play, while Basketball Australia was fined 100,000 Swiss francs (P 5.3 million). (READ: 10 Gilas players suspended, SBP fined for FIBA brawl)
Moore said that the suspension on Goulding is “tough to swallow.”
“The findings of the panel was that throughout the game, there was some niggle between Chris and a couple of [Gilas] players,” Moore told the Australian media on Thursday, July 19.
“FIBA took the view that that actually perhaps contributed to the 3rd quarter incident. On balance, that’s something that we’ll talk about tomorrow as a board.”
“Given everything that we saw with Chris under the basket with 20 players on him, it’s a little tough to swallow that one, but that’s a conversation that we’ll have as a board tomorrow.”
Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee, who were on the floor with the 3 other Boomers at the time of the brawl, escaped sanctions.
Australian star center Andrew Bogut actually chimed in on the matter on Twitter.
He also commented on the sanctions as a whole:
Breaking: Referees one year ban would have been reduced to 3 games if they threw a few chairs.— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) July 19, 2018
Moore added that they will conduct a separate review of their own players and staff in accordance to their code of conduct, starting with the pre-match incident where they ripped up approved sponsor decals on the Philippine Arena floor during their training.
“Part of our separate process and now that we’ve actually gotten the FIBA findings is to commence our own review,” he said.
“There was an incident with decals where, and I did say this in our press conference straight after the incident, where we probably didn’t make the smartest decision in the world to actually rip up some decals in our training. That’s something that we’ll address as a matter of process.”
Goulding and Maker have yet to comment on the FIBA sanctions entirely, while the Sydney Kings have yet to release Kickert's full statement.
Moore also went at length declaring Filipino photojournalist Winston Baltasar’s allegations on racism “completely baseless.”
“They were found to be no substantive points in relation to racism,” said Moore. “It’s something that from a Basketball Australia perspective, we take it incredibly seriously when those allegations are made against us and our players.”
“[Baltasar] declined to provide any further information,” he continued. “On the basis that it wasn’t in FIBA’s technical delegates’ match report [nor] in our charges – it was denied by all of their players, their officials and independent witnesses at the game and having investigated and finding no further information – we actually believe that the matter is actually and officially closed.”– Rappler.com