AMSTERDAM (EJP)— Two Dutch politicians and several media criticized aDutch football club has been criticized for traveling to Abu Dhabi for a training camp without an Israeli player who was barred from the Gulf emirate.
Two Dutch politicians and several media criticized the team Vitesse from Arnhem over the weekend for agreeing to play in Abu Dhabi despite the refusal Saturday to let Dan Mori into the country for matches against two German teams.
Vitesse Arnhem, was told a day before it flew to Abu Dhabi on Sunday that player Dan Mori would not be allowed into the country after being given assurances he would be admitted, a club spokeswoman said.
He said the team could not call off its trip because it was to play warmup matches against the German teams Wolfsburg and Hamburg.
Geert Wilders, leader of the rightist, pro-Israel Party for Freedom, denounced the the club’s decision. “Vitesse shouldn’t have gone to the Emirates to protest the refusal to let Mori in. They are now accepting the emirates’ Jew-hate. Cowardly.”
Pieter Omtzigt, a MP for the Cristian-Democrat CDA party, said that Vitesse should behave like Dutch lawmakers, who refuse to visit places which try to dictate the make-up of parliamentary delegations.
Esther Voet, director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel based in The Hague declared: ‘’Abu Dhabi, come on, let’s get real. If you want to be a member of FIFA, you do not do this.”
Mori is not the first Israeli athlete barred from entering the UAE. Tennis player Shahar Peer was denied entry for the Dubai Tennis Championships in 2009 because of what officials said were anti-Israel sentiments in the country following Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. The tournament was fined $300,000 by the World Tennis Association.