Veteran playmaker Thomas Ortel is at risk of being expelled from the French national basketball team for signing with Zenit (St. Petersburg, Russia), according to a threat issued by the French Football Federation.

Zenit (St. Petersburg) announced the signing of a contract with a 33-year-old football player for a year with the possibility of extending for another year.

The French federation responded to the move with a threat that if Ortel played for the Russian national team, he would be excluded from the French national team “at upcoming international events, including the Olympics”, due to a ban placed on Russian clubs and teams against the backdrop of the war Russia with Ukraine.

The French federation said all players selected for the latest European Championship, including Ortel, signed a pledge “indicating that they have not signed and do not plan to sign a contract with a Russian or Belarusian club.”

The federation stated that although it was “reported that Thomas Ortel was in contact with foreign clubs, including a Russian club, it was never notified that a contract had been signed or that it had been signed with a Russian club”. .

The AFP federation confirmed that even if Ortel plays only one season in Russia, he will not automatically be returned to the teams of the 2024 Olympics scheduled in Paris and the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Russian and Belarusian clubs were excluded from European competitions, and the Russian team was denied participation in the last European Championship.