By Milan Lazarevic
Traditional Albert Schweitzer tournament for Under 18 National teams, practically unofficial World Championship, will be held without 2 biggest favorites for gold medal. FIBA and organizers from Mannheim decided to silently suspend Lithuanian and Serbian National teams because of suspicious game which these 2 teams played last year in Madrid on U18 European championship.
Spanish Association accused back then these two National teams for “fitting” result in first phase of European championship which eliminated Spanish U18 team from battle for Medals.
Serbians and Lithuanians claimed that those accusations were rubbish, but obviously that someone from FIBA didn’t think like that. FIBA rejected Spanish appeal last year and formed commission to find out truth about suspicious match. Commission made not even one meeting, but obviously that suspicion was enough for Albert Schweitzer tournament officials not to call these two teams on tournament this year.
Belgrade daily “Sportski Zurnal” published today, from FIBA unnamed source, that Serbia and Lithuania were punished because of mentioned game. He said that suspicious match was “fitted” by Serbs and Lithuanians and that FIBA will react drastically in future in case of accusation like this one. This time silent suspension from Albert Schweitzer tournament is enough punishment.
Serbia is current U19 World Champion, U18 European champion, U16 European Champion and U21 European champion.