BASKETBALL: Controversy surrounds Yugoslav win

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The Independent Online
Accusations of match-fixing have been levelled at Yugoslavia following their triumphant return to international basketball. Opponents joined forces in condemnation of their European Championship victory over Lithuania on Sunday.

Lithuanian players accused the American referee, George Toliver, of calling deliberate fouls and penalties against them to give Yugoslavia the edge, while 20,000 fans chanted "It's fixed" when the Yugoslavs raised the trophy at the award ceremony.

"The victory was stolen from the Lithuanians who deserved it," Costas Politis, the former Greek national coach, said. "They were the best team in the tournament. It seems that the Serbian lobby had predetermined the winner."

Vladas Garastas, the Lithuanian coach, joined the Greeks, who lost to Yugoslavia in the semi-finals, in accusing the game's world governing body of allegedly fixing the schedule in the preliminaries to protect Yugoslavia from playing two hard matches in a row.

"They [Yugoslavia] had the green light from the start to win this tournament. It is a question of politics and those involved should be ashamed," he said.

In a front-page article, Greece's sports newspaper, Sportime, wrote: "The throne was set up. Yugoslavia beat Lithuania 96-90 in the darkest final ever in basketball history."

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