Following clash at sea, Turkey calls back under-19 team

Israel Football Association: “This is a political decision made by the Turkish government."

soccer ball 88 (photo credit: )
soccer ball 88
(photo credit: )
The friendly encounter between Israel’s and Turkey’s under-19 national teams scheduled to take place in Ness Ziona on Monday was canceled after the Turkish Football Association called back the side following the IDF’s raid earlier in the day on the Gaza-bound protest flotilla, which left 10 activists dead and dozens wounded.
“This is a political decision made by the Turkish government,” said theIsrael Football Association in a statement. “The IFA regrets the mixingof politics with sports and thinks that the match should have beenplayed.”
Israel coach Eli Ohana said that even though his team was given short notice, Turkey’s decision was not a surprising one.
“We heard of the news a few minutes before we were meant to board the bus on the way to the stadium,” said Ohana.
“We had a feeling this might happen. We hoped that the incident at seawould not affect sports, but the team we were facing had nothing to dowith the decision.
“It is a shame that matches are cancelled because of politics,especially youth matches,”Ohana added. “Whoever says politics isn’tmixed with sports is burying his head in the sand or is an idiot. Thetwo are always mixed.”