“They are known [as irlandesas] They are completely anti-Semitic This is no secret, and perhaps that is why it is expected to be a very intense match. We have already talked among ourselves. We know they don't like us and we will leave everything on the field as always and especially in this match.
It was these words of player Dor Sarr, from Israel, that led to the Irish women's basketball team's decision not to salute the Israeli team at the start of their EuroBasket qualifying match.
a The Irish Federation accused the Israeli player of making “inflammatory and inappropriate” comments. A complaint has been submitted to the main European basketball regulator.
“The Irish Basketball Federation informed UEFA yesterday that as a direct result of comments made by Israeli players and coaching staff – including inflammatory and inappropriate accusations of anti-Semitism, published on the UEFA’s channels – our players will not participate in the match.” Al-Ittihad explained in a statement: “Before the match with our next competitor.”
Union officials explained that they supported the Irish players' decision 100 percent, and the Irish anthem was sung from the bench and not in the middle of the field as usual.
This match previously sparked controversy last November, as many sports figures in Ireland called for a boycott of the game, especially after publications about the Israeli team receiving a visit from soldiers from the Israeli Air Force.
The federation said it was concerned and was considering the possibility of boycotting the two matches with Israel before the International Basketball Federation, which informed it The Irish team could be fined more than 180 euros and excluded from the playoffs this year and in 2027..
John Feehan, president of the Irish Basketball Association, said in response that this would be devastating for the team: “Not only will we be out of international competition for the next five years, it will probably take another five years to get to that point.” We are now. “In real terms, we will lose a generation of players,” Fehan said on national television.
Despite the president's words… Many players decided not to travel to Riga where the match was played (behind closed doors for security reasons).. Israel won the game 87-57 and the Irish coach praised the players for the “maturity they showed” throughout the situation.
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