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Itay Shechter forced to miss Swansea City's Dubai trip because of Israeli ban

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

Striker Itay Shechter has been forced to miss Swansea’s Middle East trip after being refused entry to Dubai

Comments (19)

ITAY Shechter has been forced to train in his homeland this week after being blocked from entering Dubai because of his nationality.

Swansea City have jetted out to the Middle East for a warm-weather training camp.

But they had to leave Shechter behind because of his Israeli passport.

Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates, and they do not recognise Israel as a state and do not have any diplomatic relations with the country.

Relations with much of the Arab world have been strained since Israel's formation and have worsened in recent years because of fighting between Israel and Palestine.

It is understood Swansea only discovered that Shechter would not be able to be part of their travelling party at the last minute.

The decision was then taken to press ahead with the trip — and to leave their Israeli international behind.

With Swansea's senior squad and staff away from the Liberty, Shechter has returned home to train with former club Hapoel Tel Aviv.

He will rejoin Michael Laudrup's squad on Friday, when they fly into Merseyside ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at Liverpool.

"Itay could not come — that is something to do with his passport and he will join us in Liverpool," a frustrated Laudrup explained.

Shechter is the only senior figure in the Swansea squad who did not make the trip to Dubai on Sunday.

Chico Flores was on the plane despite the fact he will play no part in training because of the ankle ligament injury he suffered in the win against Queens Park Rangers last weekend.

Flores has no chance of featuring at Anfield and is also expected to miss the Capital One Cup final.

But the prognosis is better for Leon Britton, who could be back for this weekend's reunion with Brendan Rodgers after missing the QPR game with an ankle problem.

Shechter is not the first Israeli sports star to be denied entry to Dubai.

In 2009, there was outcry when tennis player Shahar Peer was blocked from taking part in a major tournament there.

Major tennis stars including Venus Williams and Andy Roddick spoke out against the decision to deny her entry to Dubai.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 13 2013, 12:18PM

    jeffreyn but Israel also discriminate. Many people love to knock the EU, but at the end of the days it's the finest example of people living and working together.

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  • hacker_jack  |  February 13 2013, 12:06PM

    Could easily have gone to somewhere like Malaga, only about 5-10 degree difference between there and Dubai at this time of year, more sensible time zone as well so less jetlag.

    |   7
  • jeffreyn  |  February 13 2013, 11:51AM

    It is disgraceful that Dubai is allowed to continue to discriminate like this and it is wrong that Swansea agreed to train there. They should have trained the whole team in Israel. It is a much nicer country.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 13 2013, 10:43AM

    trncjack you seem to have touched a raw nerve there. Don't mention anything about illegal settlements in Palestine/west bank, the Arab haters on here don't like talk of that. As you said back to football

    |   -6
  • hacker_jack  |  February 13 2013, 8:21AM

    That the Swans "should have known" is immaterial why is racism accepted against Jews but not coloured players? --- It isn't immaterial, it is about being professional. The only partial excuse would be if it was booked before Schekter's arrival. The racism of it is a different issue that is nothing to do with the Swans

    |   10
  • naterab  |  February 12 2013, 10:51PM

    It would have been nice to see Swansea City decide to go somewhere all of the members of the club could travel. The southern United States is pleasant this time of year. It really is a shame to see something like a person's nationality bar them from training with their team. This goes beyond FIFA and UEFA though, as they cannot control diplomatic relations between countries.

    |   13
  • chelsea1955  |  February 12 2013, 7:05PM

    Itay, good to see who your mates are, the club should have gone somewhere else and told them to stuff their country and policy, thought Swansea City was a family club and looked after their own well we know different now, shame on the club not standing up for one OF OUR PLAYERS (bet some of the board are out there in their speedos on a freebie)

    |   7
  • trncjack  |  February 12 2013, 7:02PM

    some of you might remember , the reason apartite was stopped in south africa was because sports men started to boycott sporting events and putting presure on the then white minority governement in south africa, and the quicker we do the same with israel the quicker they stop their ilegal settlements in palistine. now can we get back to football lads

    |   -25
  • trncjack  |  February 12 2013, 6:54PM

    JOE This has NOTHING to do with being jewish,this is because he is israeli ,,,,big difference,,,

    |   -10
  • Shimbee  |  February 12 2013, 6:38PM

    Just to clarify, Israel does not bar Muslims from entering because of their place of birth. For obvious reasons, the citizens of "enemy" states that have declared their open hostility towards Israel e.g. Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, cannot enter freely. Otherwise, Muslims from all over the world are welcome to visit Israel. Incidentally, some 20% of Israel's population are Arabs. That's 1 million Israeli Arab citizens who have the same rights as the Jewish population, are represented in the Israeli parliament, the judicial system, the diplomatic corps and yes, even in the Israeli army. Dubai may have a problem with Israelis but Israel has no problem with Muslims or Arabs (as long as they aren't hell bent on destroying the country obviously!). Presumably Itay Shechter has never declared some form of hatred towards Dubai and is being prevented from entering solely on the basis of his nationality.

    |   27