ISTANBUL

Turkish basketball club Anadolu Efes’s French forward Adrien Moerman said Turkey is safer than France amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Moerman underlined that the number of coronavirus cases in France was more than Turkey.

“I don’t want to leave Turkey because France is worse than here,” he said, adding that he would stay in Turkey as he did not want to put his family at risk.

Moerman added that he would return to his country after the leagues were completed. ”I feel safer in Istanbul. I’m waiting for the final decision of the Turkish league and EuroLeague,” he said.

“l don’t want to go back home now and if I go to France, l have to stay in quarantine for two weeks [when I return to Turkey]. It’s better to wait for the decision first. Then, I’ll leave for sure,” added Moerman.

Despite that the league’s return date was still unclear, the 31-year-old player continues his personal training at the club’s facilities.

”Anadolu Efes opened its facilities to players and I started training. l go to practice every morning to keep my body in shape.”

The players work in two divided groups during the daily training sessions.

Having underlined that Anadolu Efes had a great season in the EuroLeague with 24 wins in 28 matches, Moerman said they wanted to continue playing the rest of the season if the safety conditions were met.

Moerman and Anadolu Efes have agreed to pay cuts for two months to assist the club over the financial struggles from the coronavirus outbreak.

“We cut almost two months of our salary. I understand the clubs. They don’t have revenue [during the pandemic]. l want to try to help the club as soon as possible,” he said.

”The pay cut is normal [under these circumstances]. l understand the situation,” he added.

He also said that he felt good in Turkey and saw the country as his second home with his family.

Turkey suspended sporting events on March 19 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The country has a death toll of more than 3,000 from the virus, with recoveries exceeding 44,000, surpassing one-third of the total case tally, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca had said Wednesday.

*Writing By Muhammed Enes Calli and Fatih Erel

Copyright 2021 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.