Evan Fournier and the Blues campaigned hard for basketball to take place in ideal conditions during the Paris Olympic Games. However, the multiple declarations and rants of the latter did not have more at all… The president of the French handball federation notably stepped up to the plate, in order to give them a big tackle.
In the end, the basketball players will have prevailed, at least in part. Indeed, the facilities in which they will play during the Paris Olympics in 2024 will be much larger than expected. The Olympic organizing committee has indeed decided that the group stages will take place near Lille, while the final stages will take place in Bercy. This is exactly where the Blues wanted to be able to shine, in order to defend their status as Olympic vice-champions.
Instead, it is therefore the handball players who will play their tournament at Porte de Versailles, as has been announced. Can we expect a new controversy, this time about them? According to Philippe Bana, president of the French federation, this idea should be put away immediately. In an interview with RMC Sport, he explained that he could perfectly accommodate these new arrangements:
At the London Olympics, we played at the Copper Box, there were 5,000 seats, it was great. In handball, we are simple, calm people. We are given a room and a ball, we manage, tackled the leader. The Porte de Versailles is going to be wonderful. There will be our volleyball friends, other activities. There will be a very strong Olympic atmosphere. It’s a nice first stage rocket before leaving for Lille, frankly we’re happy.
Clearly, hand players are used to this kind of infrastructure and will therefore not be too disoriented, unlike the athletes of the orange ball. Besides, Bana also had his say on Evan Fournier and his teammates, after the skier Marie Martinod has already set fire to the Knicks player sometime ago. According to him, organizing the Games remains a daunting task due to the many disciplines and it is not something to be overlooked:
Philippe Bana: “You have to know how to remove the ego and share”
No one can complain to them. Justice is something complicated, when you have 35 sports to manage and you don’t want to build facilities and there is a budget…. For basketball, I think it’s great. They made an extraordinary Euro 2015 in Lille. They’re going to play in front of 30,000 people, it’s a great sport, a great team. We will have Paris and Lille where there will be half a million people to come and see us, with our two French teams, from the quarter-finals. Everybody is happy.
Just to get his message across, the big boss of the small round ball ended by slipping an undisguised tackle to the Blues, urging them to change their mentality as soon as possible:
The Games are collective. You have to get used to removing the ego from your own discipline. You have to work with others and think that you are a member of the Olympic team, you have to share. The Games are something for sharing.
Philippe Bana did not appreciate the behavior of Evan Fournier and the basketball EDF for the Paris Olympics, implying that the latter were on a huge whim. Knowing the back of the Knicks, there is no doubt that he will respond quickly to the words of the big boss of tricolor handball.