(photo credit: courtesy)
With snipers on the roof of the arena and over 2,000 policemen protecting their
every move, Israel’s women’s national volleyball team dropped to a 3-0 defeat to
Turkey on Sunday to finish fourth in the CEV European League final four in
Only invited guests were allowed to enter Sunday’s game,
with the Israel bus traveling a different route from the one it used for
Saturday’s semifinal against Serbia after dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters
scuffled with police.
“Don’t be dogs of Zionism. God will hold you
to account,” angry demonstrators snarled at police in helmets, who pushed them
back with shields of reinforced plastic.
“Esteemed friends,” appealed a
police commander with a loudspeaker. “Please don’t cause
Israel, which is preparing for its European Championship
qualifiers against Belarus in September, surprised everyone by reaching
final four, but lost both its matches in Ankara in straight sets.
Sunday, Israel gave Turkey a fight in the first two sets, only to lose
crucial points and fall to a 25-19, 25-23, 25-15 defeat.
“We didn’t play
our best volleyball in the final four and the gaps between ourselves and
and Turkey were clear for all to see,” said Israel coach Arie
“We tried to do our best, but we didn’t manage to so as well as
we did against Spain and Greece in the European League qualifiers.
will take a short break before beginning to prepare for our mail goal –
qualifying for the European Championships.”