Hosting European U20 Championship before hosting EuroBasket is most often done to help the preparation for the big tournament. It’s a trial by fire for EuroBasket Women 2015 hosts Hungarians who are hosting this year’s European U20 Championship in Division A as there appears to be a food poisoning outbreak in Debrecen among the participants.
According to various reports there were 20 to 22 players hospitalized by yesterday’s morning. Portugal had to play with only 6 players against Turkey as the rest of the team were ill and some of the players who played were under the weather. Serbia were without 4 players. Even the coaches have suffered from the poisoning as Serbian head coach Radenko Varagic had to sign release forms to take full responsibility of his health and be released from hospital in order to coach his team.
Varagic doesn’t seem to be optimistic about the prospects of future as he has been quoted by the Serbian Basketball Federation saying “There’s nothing I can say about the next game, because we have a new sleepless night in front of us and I do not know if we’ll have five players available tomorrow.”
In USA the organizers and the caterers would be facing lawsuits, in Hungary, god knows what the punishment will be, but there certainly should be.
Unfortunately celebration of youth basketball has turned in to survival of the fittest/luckiest.
Update: Serbian Basketball Federation has announced they have sent Ana Jokovic, SBF vice president in charge of women’s basketball development, and youth coach Zoran Kovacic to ease the minds of parents back home as well as to help the ill Serbian staff.
Here’s what Jokovic had to say about it: “Preliminary results indicate salmonella poisoning, but everything should be determined by Tuesday. In my experience in youth competitions nothing like this has never happened. Organizers have made a huge error and FIBA did not react to this. [...] FIBA doesn’t care for all of this, and they will not care while the team has five players to play the game. I really do not want to comment on their behavior. We will file a complaint anyway. I’d just like to thank the girls as a whole who have had the will to play in these moments, and I will not even talk about great results, as they have already done enough.”