Mali basketball players apologize after mixed-zone fight


Two basketball players from Mali have apologized for fights in the mixed zone after the team’s 81-68 loss to Serbia at the Women’s World Cup.

The incident between Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou came on Monday after Mali’s fourth straight loss at the tournament in Sydney, Australia, and footage of the fight was widely circulated on social media.

FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, said it had opened an investigation into the incident to decide on disciplinary action.

“We are here to apologize for the images that have been circulating on social media,” Kourouma, who was sitting next to Dabou, told reporters on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t our intention and we were frustrated with the loss. We’re here to apologize to the world of basketball (and the) FIBA ​​World Championship.”

The footage shows Kourouma throwing punches at Dabou before other players from Mali intervene to try to separate the two players. CNN Sport has contacted Mali’s basketball federation for further comment on the incident.

Mali were eliminated from the World Cup after losing every game in Group B, including an 88-65 loss to Canada on Tuesday.

The Women’s World Cup continues on Thursday with the quarter-finals and ends on Saturday with the final.