Serbia boss slams referees and FIBA

08:28, September 14, 2010      

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Legendary Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic launched an astonishing attack after his team finished the FIBA World Championship in fourth place.

His main point of contention was with the world governing body and the referees' performance in Serbia's 83-82 semifinal loss to host Turkey on Saturday.

"There was a huge problem with the referees. There were so many strange games in the tournament. There were so many bad moments from the referees' calls in this tournament," an angry Ivkovic said in the post-game news conference following a 99-88 loss to Lithuania in the third-place game.

"It was a strange game yesterday, but not one of them came to me and said sorry for yesterday's match. If people think it's OK and if they think there's no problem with the referees, that would be a big threat to basketball's development."

Kerem Tunceri scored with 0.5 seconds remaining and Semih Erden blocked Serbia's last-gasp shot to advance to the final.

However, four seconds remained when Turkey began its final possession. Video replays suggested more than four seconds elapsed between when Turkey inbounded the ball and when Tunceri scored.

Serbia also took umbrage at a number of contentious decisions. Novica Velickovic appeared to be fouled when he scored his team's final points, but contact that was similar to that which saw Nenad Krstic foul out the previous possession went uncalled.

Turkey finished 20 of 33 on free throws, while Serbia was 18 of 24.

"In my career, I've never seen such bad referees. Are they behaving according to sponsors? My players are damaged now," Ivkovic said.

Chinese basketball commentator Zhang Weiping agreed, saying a number of bad fouls by Turkey went unpenalized.

"We know there are calls for the host in some competitions. But there were too many controversial calls against Serbia and the referee turned a blind eye to the Turkish players' fouls," he said. "There were also four calls against Serbia in the last one and a half minutes. It's rarely seen in a big tournament."

Source: China Daily


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