MADRID, Spain — The International Basketball Association, more commonly known as FIBA, has announced the cancellation of the 2014 FIBA World Cup after various countries decided to withdraw their participation from the prestigious basketball tournament.
This after Hamed Haddadi, FIBA-Asia Most Valuable Player received various derogatory remarks and insults from Filipino netizens on his Facebook page after Gilas Pilipinas’ defeat at the hands of the Iranian team.
An undermanned Gilas Pilipinas team once again showed their fighting heart as they put together a valiant effort before eventually succumbing to a bigger, taller Iran team, 85-71, in the title game of the 27th FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday. (from ABS-CBN News)
“Various countries, including Croatia, Jordan, Turkey and Germany have expressed concern over this recent development,” he added.
“Russia, USA, Canada and France were also shocked and decided to pullout from the tournament.”
Lucca Staiger, shooting guard for the German national basketball team said that, “Out of fear at what Filipinos might say to insult me, or the whole team for that matter, if ever we defeated them, we decided not to play in the tournament instead.”
Steiger believes that Filipinos would call him a Nazi, Hitler or Achtung among others things, and revealed that he might not be emotionally stable to receive such insults.
The Turkish national team, nicknamed “12 Dev Adam” (literally: “12 Giant Men”) also shared their reasoning for pulling-out of the tournament.
“If a player like Hamed Haddadi is called a Kapre, what more to our team?!” said head coach Orhun Ene; referring to a comment made by a Filipino, likening the 7’2″ Iranian center to a mythical tree demon, who is often described as a tall (7 to 9 ft), brown, hairy male with a beard.
“I don’t think my players, who are all kapres by Filipino standards, can take that much emotional beating,” he added.
Other teams did not specify their reasons, but stated that racism should have no place in an international competition, where height and skill and not race are the deciding factors.
“A country who is genetically ‘not tall’ (sic) cannot be sore losers if they participated in a height-dominated sport and then lost to a bigger and taller team from Asia,” said another player who wishes to be unnamed. “Imagine what would happen at the international stage.”
According to Baumann, the FIBA World Cup would possibly return for its 2016 iteration if and when either the Philippines does not qualify for it or when Filipinos learn to be gracious in defeat.
“Although there were Filipinos who were apologetic and embarrassed by the comments left by their fellow countrymen on Haddadi’s Facebook page…” observed SWN resident Sociologist Ramon Christopher Ching. “…it just goes to show that not all sports fans posses the value of sportsmanship. Ironically.”
“And don’t get me started with media, trying to sugar coat their articles.”