The Egyptian national roller hockey team on Friday boycotted a world championship game against Israel, reportedly on orders of Sports Minister Amer Farouq, who said he didn’t recognize Israel as a state, Israel Sports 5 reported on Sunday.
The B-World Cup championship match for 5th to 9th place was supposed to take place in Canelones, Uruguay, but the Egyptian team refused to play and Israel was awarded a 10-0 forfeit victory.
“The relations between the two teams are very good,” Israeli roller hockey chairman Udi Gedankin told Channel 5, adding that the players and trainers enjoy mutual respect and friendship. “The game between the two national teams was a dream for the two sides, and we looked forward to this game for a long time.”
Two Egyptian players informed the Israeli captain that their team would not show up and that the squad would forfeit the match. According to the players, Farouq called after the match was announced and threatened to pull funding for Egyptian roller hockey should the team take the rink against Israel. Farouq reportedly added that he did not recognize Israel as a state and therefore would not allow the competition to take place.
A similar incident occurred on Friday in Vienna, when Iranian jujitsu athlete Mansouri Dawar refused to take the mat against Israeli Dudi Ben Zaken.
Israel ended up taking 7th place overall, and Egypt finished dead last in 9th place.