Ankara Rally 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Dozens of protesters scuffled with police in Ankara, Turkey, while Israel’s
women’s volleyball fell to a 3-0 defeat to Serbia in the semifinals of the CEV
European League final four on Saturday.
Turkey had increased security for
the Israel team, with hundreds of policemen spread throughout the TVF Sport
Complex to which only invited guests were allowed to enter, meaning the game was
played in front of only several dozen onlookers.
The protesters carried
posters of Furkan Dogan, the youngest of nine pro-Palestinian activists killed
in Israel’s May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, while others pounded
police shields with Palestinian flags.
Israel was taking part in the
final phase of a European competition for the first time in 43 years on
Saturday, but was no real match for the strong Serbs, who are ranked No. 10 in
Israel, ranked just 90th in the world, began the match well,
but Serbia, who won a silver medal at the 2007 European Championships, soon
seized control and didn’t need long to claim a 25-20, 25-12, 25-21
National team coach Arie Selinger wasn’t too disappointed with
his side’s performance, but was frustrated with the mixing of politics and
“We are happy to be here and are sorry we caused the hosts such a
headache, but we came for volleyball and not politics,” said Selinger,
team will play Turkey for third place in the final four on Sunday.
are only ranked 90th in the world and the Serbs are in the top-ten so
there is a
bit of a gap between the teams. At the moment we can maybe beat Serbia’s
side. We are playing in the European League to gather confidence ahead
European Championship qualifiers against Belarus in September.”AP
contributed to this report