SYDNEY: (Reuters) – The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) launched an investigation yesterday after two Mali players were filmed fighting with each other after their team wrtr eliminated from the Women’s World Cup.
The incident took place after Mali lost 81-68 to Serbia in their Group B clash in Sydney on Monday – their fourth straight defeat at the tournament.
The fight between Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou broke out as Serbia’s Sasa Cado was being interviewed in the mixed zone.
Kourouma was seen throwing punches at Dabou before other Mali players ran in to break the pair apart in front of a visibly shocked Cado.
“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,” FIBA said in a statement.
“Following the incident, FIBA has opened an investigation. Once the investigation is concluded, FIBA will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures.”
Mali are bottom of Group B with four points from four games and finished their campaign against Canada later yesterday.
They qualified for the tournament after African champions Nigeria pulled out citing administrative difficulties around the sport in their country.
Seven teams have qualified for the knockout stage, with South Korea and Puerto Rico fighting for the last berth.
The United States, China and Belgium have qualified from Group A, while Canada, France, Australia and Serbia are through from Group B.