Two Mali basketball players who were filmed fighting with each other at the Women’s World Cup have apologised, saying they were frustrated after their team were eliminated from the tournament.
The fight between Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou broke out as Serbia’s Sasa Cado was being interviewed in the mixed zone after Mali lost 81-68 in their Group B clash in Sydney on Monday.
Kourouma was seen throwing punches at Dabou before other Mali players ran in to break the pair apart in front of a visibly shocked Cado.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has launched an investigation into the incident.
“We are here to apologise for the image that is going on social media. It was not our intention and we were frustrated because of the loss,” Kourouma, who sat alongside Dabou, told reporters on Tuesday.
“We are here to apologise to the world of basketball (and the) FIBA World Cup. We are sorry for the image.”
Mali finished bottom of the group after losing all five of their games.
The quarter-finals take place on Thursday followed by the semis on Friday and the final on Saturday.