Israeli Women’s Basketball Team Defeats Ireland After Its Players Refused to Shake Hands

Updated: February 9, 2024 at 6:14 pm EST  See Comments

Ireland’s women’s basketball team refused to shake the hands of their opponents from Israel before the EuroBasket 2025 qualifier game played Thursday in Riga, Latvia after one Israeli player accused the team of antisemitism. 

Israeli player Dor Saar said on Wednesday that the Ireland team is “quite anti-Semitic,” according to the BBC. Her comments followed calls for the Ireland team to boycott the game.

Basketball Ireland issued a statement before the start of the game announcing, “Basketball Ireland informed Fiba Europe yesterday that as a direct result of recent comments made by Israeli players and coaching staff – including inflammatory and wholly inaccurate accusations of anti-Semitism, published on official Israeli Federation channels – that our players will not be partaking in traditional pre-match arrangements with our upcoming opponents.”

“This includes exchanging of gifts, formal handshakes before or after the game, while our players will line up for the Irish national anthem by our bench rather than center court,” the statement continued. 

“Basketball Ireland fully supports our players in their decision,” the statement concluded. 

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