Arab players reject call to boycott game

Thursday, March 02, 2006 | 
Arab players on Israel’s national soccer team ignored calls to boycott Wednesday’s exhibition game against Denmark, saying the controversy over Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was not related to sports. Defender Walid Badir and forward Abas Suan played the match with their Jewish teammates. Denmark defeated Israel 2-0. Israeli Arab parliamentarian Taleb a-Sana had asked that the match be canceled, but his request was denied by the Israel Football Association. “I understand that people are angry,” Suan said. “I’m angry, too, and don’t want our religion or any other religion to be mocked. But as for the question of whether or not we should play? It’s unrelated. Walid and I are an inseparable part of the team. We represent Israel. ... We are obligated to our team.” (Photo: Israelis in blue shirts)

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