Several members of a team of Russian hockey players, who were supposed to participate in a friendly match of the game “Legends” to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Moscow, have been admitted to Israeli territory due to COVID-19 vaccination issues. prevented from doing so. , Channel 12 reported on Monday.
The channel said that the match scheduled for Thursday may be cancelled.
This Russian delegation consisted of 36 people – 24 sportsmen and 12 assistants – former sportsman Vyacheslav Fetisov, a two-time gold medalist and goodwill ambassador on climate issues at the United Nations. As part of its visit, the Russian delegation was to promote environmental issues.
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On Sunday, the Inter-Ministerial Commission in charge of exemptions – a panel that decides on the entry of people who do not meet the criteria required under restrictions imposed in the context of the pandemic – ruled that 17 players were Jewish. State including Fetisov cannot surrender within.
The committee’s decision was linked to the legality of vaccines received by players, according to the channel which clarified that they were vaccinated long ago.
Lev Ganin of the non-profit ASCEND, which organized the match, said in a statement that the move would damage the international image of the Jewish state on the world stage.
“We are very sorry for the decision taken by the Commission,” commented Ganin. “This decision not to let them enter Israel will not have a positive effect on our public relations in the world.”
Ganin said he was in contact with Tourism Minister Joel Razvozov and the Russian ambassador to Israel and hoped that “a solution would be found to address the uneasiness plaguing us all”.
He said that some Russian delegates had recently attended the UN Climate Conference which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, and they had no difficulty in entering the UK. Ganin explained that he had informed the commission that the Russians were prepared to go through all the tests necessary to enter the country “but we were met with a refusal – a vague refusal that would result in no harm. -of Israel’s image.” required”.
In addition to their participation in the match, the Russians were to meet young Israeli ice hockey players and attend a ceremony celebrating three decades of ties between the two countries, which would be held at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva. Used to be.
On Monday, the tourism minister said he would not yet allow entry into Israel for tourists who have been immunized with the Russian vaccine against the Sputnik V coronavirus.
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