Ivory Coast recently booked their place at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup scheduled for China in August / September, and while congratulations are pouring in the players are quite unhappy with life at their camp during the qualifiers played in Abidjan between February 22 and 24.
The Elephants recorded a flawless run, defeating Nigeria, Rwanda and Mali to emerge as third best team ahead of Cameroon, but all that happened with grudges inside.
“We had to put our financial difficulties outside to play the qualifiers. I can’t tell you all what we were passing through because it’s shameful. You would not believe we had these issues and were able to shine through the tournament,” Souleyman Diabaté told ACLsports.
“We wanted to make the nation proud. We wanted to make fans happy. There was no motivation from nowhere I must confess. We had nothing from nowhere. We were abandoned.
“The ministry of sports was absent. I mean totally absent. We had no support. We were taking care of ourselves through contributions from us players.
“And now the ticket to China is here, officials are celebrating the success. It’s sad. However, we will work hard and defend our flag at the finals,” he said.
The 31-year-old, who plays for SLUC Nancy Basket in France, had a total of 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.2 passes at the qualifiers.
Ivory Coast will be participating for fourth time at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.