France pays unemployment benefits, “In France, 5v5 and 3×3 teams are treated equally”

“In France, they treat the 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 teams at the same level. A player who was captain of the 5-on-5 team two years ago is also on the 3×3 team at the Olympics.”

The French men’s 3×3 team, which will be competing for a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on home soil, arrived in the country on April 16 and is currently training in Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do. France will compete in the 3×3 Qualification Tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Utsunomiya, Japan, on March 3 and 4 next month. The 16-team tournament will feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams, with only the top two men’s and one women’s team qualifying for the 홀덤 Olympic Games.

Thanks to their friendship with the Korea 3×3 Basketball Organization (KXO), France will train in Hongcheon-gun for a week before heading to Japan, bringing eight players and eight coaching staff. The 16-member squad has been training intensely since the day after their arrival, preparing for the Olympic qualifiers.

Karim Sochu, who is traveling to Korea for the second year in a row to lead France, gave us an insight into how 3×3 is viewed in France.

When I lamented that 3×3 is still perceived as a minor sport in Korea, he replied, “That’s unexpected. In Europe, 3×3 is really popular right now. In France alone, 3×3 is becoming very popular. This year we have the Olympics, so even Raho Konate, who was the captain of the 5-on-5 team last year, is on the 3×3 team.”

“Of the eight players currently on the national team, two of them play in the 5v5 professional league. “The Olympics have brought a lot of support for 3×3, but French players don’t discriminate between 3×3 and 5×5 as long as they can represent their country,” he says, noting that 3×3 and 5×5 are treated and perceived equally in French basketball.

Currently, top-level 3×3 players in France receive a salary of around €4,000, and prize money from tournaments is shared equally among players. The Paris team, led by Karim Sochu, earned around $150,000 in prize money last year for their performances in the WorldTour and Challenger.

“The 3×3 players are getting a lot of support from the French government because of the Paris Olympics this year, but even in France, there is some disparity between the salaries of 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 players. However, the eight players currently in the national team are in a pretty good position to continue their 3×3 careers because when their contracts end, they will receive 70% of their salary in the form of unemployment benefits for the next two years.” Karim Sochou says.

France is currently organizing a Euroleague with the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany to further expand the 3×3 scene. Karim Sochu believes this is something that Asia needs to try as well, “We saw it at the Hongcheon Challenger last year, but Korea seems to really like 3×3. We haven’t made a mark on the international stage yet, but to grow it step by step, it’s one way to create a 3×3 league with neighboring Asian countries.”

“I heard from KXO officials that they are trying very hard this year to secure a ticket to next year’s 3×3 World Cup, and since the 3×3 World Cup will be held in Asia (Mongolia) next year, I would like to see France and Korea compete together in next year’s 3×3 World Cup,” he said, adding that he would like to compete with Korea on the same court in the upcoming 2025 3×3 World Cup.

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