16. 03. 2019

Ngapeth – “It’s unfair that León will play in the Polish national team“

Source: przegladsportowy.pl; Photo: zenit-kazan.com/Роман Кручинин

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French volleyball superstar Earvin Ngapeth never had a problem to speak bluntly. The statement that he gave to Przegląd Sportowy might hurt some people in Poland but some might take his side...


When Przegląd Sportowy reporter asked Ngapeth to comment if France national team will have a tougher job against Poland in the qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics knowing the fact that Wilfredo León will play, this is the answer he got:

„First of all, it's unfair that León will play in the Polish national team.“

Ngapeth was asked to explain his words...

„He is a Cuban. He was born there, he played in the national team of Cuba during some important tournaments and how can he play for another country now? I do not understand this and I think that the majority of people think the same way. But I also see that others do the same. A few years ago, I was giving a big interview to the Italian media and I was asked: ’What do you think of Osmany Juantorena, who came from Cuba, playing for Italy?’. I replied: ’I am French. I only play for this national team for my entire life. If suddenly a foreigner appeared in my national team and I hit the bench, I would be furious.’ I do not withdraw these words, I still think the same. Artur Szalpuk was a world champion at a young age, he played many great games. It seems to me that two outside hitters in Poland will be León on and Michał Kubiak, so Szalpuk will become a backup. And how will he react? He will say, ’OK, I have no problem with it?’ Or rather, ’What the hell is this going on?!’ I would definitely react in a second way.“


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8 Comments about "Ngapeth – “It’s unfair that León will play in the Polish national team“"

16.03.2019 | 15:54 |   Suisse [unregistered]

Ngapeth is probably right, but we live in a nother time with ever changing rules and values.
If I were him I would worry more about playing better to stay at Zenit. He hasn't been what they hoped and non existent early in matches which creates problems for the team. Leon and about 10 others are far more the professional imo in their approach to the sport (possibly more)
Be quiet and play harder

+4            1-
17.03.2019 | 06:57 |   tomasz [unregistered]

fully agree

+1            6-
17.03.2019 | 13:53 |   FM [unregistered]

Everybody has the right to ask for an other nationality. Once this is approved by the government of that country, it is official. No one can oppose to that. I think it is rather unfair in volleyball that it takes so many years to be able to play for your new country.

+4            2-
17.03.2019 | 19:20 |   maja [unregistered]

Isn't it touching that N'Gapeth is so worried about Szalpuk's future?? As Polish I can only say I can't wait to see Leon playing for our national team. It's going to be an amazing year for everybody who loves volleyball :)

+4            0-
18.03.2019 | 04:50 |   JadaJada [unregistered]

Point is Leon has no connection with Poland, has never played there for any club... His agents first offered him to Russia, and their federation said 'no, thanks', then they went to Poland that was desperate to find a world-class player. A wedding was arranged, and voilá!

+2            5-
18.03.2019 | 11:13 |   diabolitionvinous [unregistered]

@JadaJada, too made they didn't offered him to France :'(
I would have say nothing against this :D

+0            0-
19.03.2019 | 16:13 |   diabolitionvinous [unregistered]

I meant 'too bad' :)

+0            0-
18.03.2019 | 11:22 |   thomas [unregistered]

Leon has a major connection to Poland, his wife and child are polish, they live in Poland when the season is over

+6            2-
18.03.2019 | 19:33 |   maia [unregistered]

I don't care about nationalities, connections or lack of them. All I care about is high level breathtaking volleyball and I hope to see lots of it very soon. This is what true volleyball fans think, so there!

+0            0-

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