Jean-Pierre Siutat, president of the FFBB, on the absence of Marine Johannès: “We know that we will be hit, but we assume”

In Le Parisien this Thursday, the president of the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) Jean-Pierre Siutat gave his support to the staff of the French women’s team, who made the decision to do without Marine Johannès at EuroBasket. (June 15-25 in Slovenia).

Silent in recent days, the president of the French Basketball Federation has shown his support for the management of the French women’s team, which has decided to dismiss Marine Johannès for the next Euro. Jean-Pierre Siutat delivered himself in the columns of Parisian. The ASVEL player had not been selected by the staff of Les Bleues to compete in the European Championship because of her desire to sign her contract with New York Liberty in the WNBA. Extracts.

On his strained relationship with the player:

“I heard that I dodged Marine (Johannès) during the presentation of the French champion trophy with ASVEL on Monday evening. This is not the case. There is no problem between Marine and me. I went to see her in the locker room where I spent half an hour with her. I’ve had her on the phone every day since, I even talked to her coach in New York, Sandy Brondello, whom I know well, to try to fix the situation. Marine is attached to the France team and we are attached to her. On the other hand, there is a problem of objective.
In the aftermath of the Tokyo Games in 2021, the Federation has set an ambition to seek medals at the Paris Games. It is a strong objective. We can’t be blamed for that. To win these medals, we have made the 2023 European Championship an essential stage. It will be very tough because it will allow teams to qualify for the TQO. A medal will have more value than a traditional Euro. In order for us to be competitive and get a result, we have to be able to prepare properly. Serbia had 60 days of preparation, Spain are already complete. The players have been warned for months that they must be available for this competition. »

On the calendar related to his contract in the WNBA:

“Once Marine is in the United States, she had to stay there until 15 days before the start of the Euros, it is the sectoral agreement between FIBA ​​and the WNBA. We can not do otherwise. She would therefore have returned on June 1 or 2. With the jet lag, we wouldn’t have taken the risk of having her play right away and, afterwards, we had a break of a few days. It would therefore have started its preparation on June 7 and, on June 14, we are on site. It was too complicated for the staff. The Euro also serves as preparation for the Olympic Games which will be at home. If we are not concerned by that, it is a problem. It’s not about any competition. We are looking to form a group in a short time because we want to achieve something big at home. Navy a competitor. She’s going to play on a great team in New York and she’s going there to win the WNBA title. She’s never satisfied with basketball, she’s a real player, she probably thought she could do both… But that’s not possible this year. It’s his choice. The rules are self-explanatory and were given early enough. »

On the difference between the rules for girls and boys vis-à-vis the United States:

“The boys have 28 days of preparation before an international deadline. The agreement between FIBA ​​and the NBA for boys is 28 days. We can do things in 28 days. The contract between FIBA ​​and the WNBA is 15 days… You have to respect women’s basketball! The WNBA wants to expand and puts pressure on the players. They want to reduce the duration of the Women’s Euroleague to recover the players even earlier. We are fighting but it is difficult. The situation is not simple. Next year, if the players leave for the WNBA, they will only be released 15 days before the Games. This is the new international framework since this year. That’s why we asked them not to go… We understand that the players want to go to the WNBA but… go after the Euros! »

On Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum’s support for Marine Johannès:

“We met again with Tony. We’ve spent an evening together ever since. He is in his role (President of ASVEL), I have no problem with that. I respect what he says. It is normal for him to defend his player. He has this double Franco-American culture too. Same thing with Nicolas Batum. What they say makes sense but we have a rule of conduct that we announced to the players in February. Things are clear. We know that we will be hit, but we assume to impose the rules. »

Photo: Jean-Pierre Siutat (FFBB)

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