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Dutch club forced to leave player behind as UAE refuses to allow Israeli into the country

Published 06/01/2014 | 10:46

Vitesse Arnhem have been forced into leaving Israeli defender Dan Mori behind for their mid-season break to the United Arab Emirates after officials refused to allow the player entry into the country.

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Currently second in the Dutch league, the club decided on a mid-season break to Dubai where they will play two friendlies but Mori has been forced to stay at home as he holds an Israeli passport.

The move has been condemned by many, though the club itself has said little, stating that “as a football club, we steer clear of politics and religion.”

A spokesperson for the club had been given a guarantee Mori could join the team, but the day before they were due to go to Abu Dhabi, that guarantee was withdrawn. The spokesperson added that the club did not make a statement on the contentious issue as it could disrupt plans for the second half of the season.

Esther Voet of the Dutch Israeli information centre CIDI said Vitesse should raise the issue with the world football body Fifa.

“I wonder how things will go in Qatar where the 2022 World Cup is being held,” she is quoted as saying by RTL news.

The club has friendlies against German sides VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV during their UAE stay.

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