The Ireland women’s basketball team, in response to an allegation by an Israeli player about anti-Semitism, chose not to shake hands with the Israel players at their EuroBasket 2025 qualifier in Riga on Thursday.
The Israeli Basketball Association published an interview with player Dor Saar on Tuesday, during which she made the allegation.
“It’s known that they are quite anti-Semitic, and it’s no secret; maybe that’s why a strong game is expected,” Saar said.
Basketball Ireland reported the comments to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), saying they were “inflammatory and wholly inaccurate”.
Basketball Ireland also announced that its players would not be partaking in traditional pre-match arrangements with Israel.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the Irish association said: “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, [and] formal handshakes before or after the game, while our players will line up for the Irish national anthem by our bench, rather than centre court.”
Basketball Ireland added it “fully supports our players in their decision”.
Israel won the game 87-57. – Reuters