BEIJING, China (AFP) — Outspoken Andrew Bogut faces possible punishment from basketball’s governing body International Basketball Federation (FIBA) after Australia’s acrimonious exit from the World Cup semifinals in Beijing.
Video footage showed Bogut — who was booed by Chinese fans throughout the tournament — swearing several times as he trudged off court after Friday’s defeat to Spain.
Bogut, 34, who riled the hosts with a tweet about Chinese champion swimmer Sun Yang in July, appeared to suggest that FIBA and its referees had favored the Spanish team.
Spain won a thrilling semifinal 95-88 after double overtime and will play Argentina, winners over France, in Sunday’s final.
Australia and Bogut — if he plays — will face the wrath of much of the Beijing arena when they take on France for the bronze medal.
The footage of Bogut swearing repeatedly and making accusations of favoritism was widely featured in Chinese media. Many reports called for FIBA to ban him.
“There’s a lot of the guys in the locker room who gave their hearts and souls tonight,” said forward Nick Kay.
“We definitely left it all out on the court.”
Australia will need to recover quickly from the crushing disappointment as they chase their first World Cup medal — albeit of the bronze variety — against France.
“There’s still a chance to win our first medal and it’s going to be great to see how the group responds to a little bit of adversity,” said Kay.
“We have a lot of guys who have been through this a lot.
“We are going to come out for this next game and fight and do everything we can to make sure we come home with that medal.”