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Ireland Women’s Basketball Team Refuses to Shake Hands with Israeli Players

The Irish women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with Israeli players before the tip-off, and for not exchanging customary gifts before the game for their Israeli opponents labeling the Ireland team as “quite anti-semitic.” 

Irish women’s head coach James Weldon then stated, “We didn’t engage in the pre-match activities as a direct result of those unwarranted and unacceptable comments from the Israeli camp about our players.”

Prior to the match, Minister for State for Sport Thomas Byrne stated that “the government couldn’t intervene in the controversy but said it was up to the world governing body whether the game went ahead or not.”

There were no handshakes, formalities and other rituals such as lining up at the center of the court during the anthem, and the Irish players did so beside their bench.

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