‘Venezuela poor host for Olympic basketball qualifying’July 3rd, 2012 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS
Caracas, July 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia point guard Alexey Shved Tuesday slammed the choice of Venezuela as the venue for the Olympic basketball qualification tournament, saying the players are cooped up in their hotel because of the high crime rate.
Three Olympic places are on offer qualifying tournament in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, which contains 12 teams and runs through Sunday.
The military have been called in to protect players, as Caracas has one of the highest murder rates of any city in the world, fuelled by criminal gangs and widespread gun ownership.
“We can’t go out of the hotel here, we’re not allowed,” Shved said when asked about the country’s crime rate.
“Everything’s unrealistically expensive, boring.”
Caracas beat a rival bid from Lithuania to host the tournament, but Shved said international basketball bosses at FIBA made the wrong decision.
“It would actually be really good if the qualification was in Lithuania,” he said.
Shved has previously claimed the jet lag caused by the nine-hour time difference between Caracas and Moscow could derail Russia’s challenge for an Olympic place.
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