Israeli Soldiers Barred from Turkey Match
IDF orders Maccabi Tel Aviv players not to travel to hostile land
In 1969, an armed conflict broke out between Honduras and El Salvador because of a soccer match. In 2011, a soccer match between Israel and Turkey might break up because of an armed conflict.
Next week, Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv is scheduled to fly to Istanbul and play a local team, Besiktas, in the Europa League, one of the most prestigious international tournaments in soccer. The recent tensions between the two countries, however, will take a toll on the team: Three members of Maccabi’s squad are soldiers in active military duty, and are forbidden (Hebrew-only) by the Israel Defense Forces, given the delicate situation with Turkey, from flying to what might soon become enemy territory.
And you thought football was warlike.
Earlier: The Turkish Rivalry Heats Up