Blow-up after Irish basketball crew refuses to shake arms of Israelis

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Geo-politics has been thrust into the centre of a basketball match between Eire and Israel after the Irish crew refused to shake the arms of their opponents.

Competing within the first match of EuroBasket Ladies 2025, a qualifier in Latvia, the Irish crew made a public show to snub the Israelis as tempers flared over an “inflammatory” interview.

The Irish gamers have been incensed over feedback made by Israeli participant Dor Saar in an interview printed by the Israeli Basketball Affiliation (IBA).

Saar charged the Irish crew with being anti-Semitic.

“It’s recognized that they’re fairly anti-Semitic and it’s no secret, and possibly that’s why a robust sport is anticipated,” Saar mentioned within the interview.

“We’ve to indicate that we’re higher than them and win.

“We speak about it amongst ourselves, we all know they don’t like us and we are going to at all times depart every little thing on the sphere and on this sport particularly.”

Basketball Eire (BI) hit again, blasting the assertion as “inflammatory and wholly inaccurate”.

The Irish crew hit again by refusing to shake arms with the Israelis.

Additionally they declined to trade presents and stood by the bench as a substitute of lining up at centre court docket for the nationwide anthem as is custom.

The snub might have backfired although, with Israel successful the sport held in Riga 87-57.

The IBA issued an announcement saying the crew gained “regardless of the shortage of sportsmanship of the visiting crew.”

BI didn’t again down although, writing: “Basketball Eire absolutely helps our gamers of their resolution.”

The governing physique had beforehand expressed “sturdy issues” concerning the Israeli crew’s participation within the match and acknowledged Eire might refuse to play Israel.

BA referenced the continuing battle between Israel and Gaza, which was sparked by the October 7 terrorist assault in Israel and has resulted within the deaths of not less than 27,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

The continued battle has created a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, based on the United Nations.

“We’re all very involved concerning the occasions unfolding in Gaza and are extraordinarily sympathetic to the dreadful scenario that persons are having to cope with,” BA mentioned in an announcement, based on the Jerusalem Submit.

Nevertheless, The Worldwide Basketball Federation warned Eire could be hit with a €100,000 and banned from the EuroBasket Ladies 2025 and 2027 Qualifiers if it refused to play.