Olympic Committee Chiefs Slam Lebanese Team Over Clash With Israelis
JNS.org – The International Olympic Committee on Sunday issued a stern warning to the head of the Lebanese delegation to the games over his refusal to share a bus to the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro with the Israeli team.
On Friday, Lebanese delegation head Salim al-Haj Nicola physically prevented Israeli team members from boarding their designated bus. They were ultimately provided with alternate transportation to Maracana Stadium.
Nicola was summoned for a hearing by the IOC on Sunday, and was reprimanded for his behavior.
IOC heads informed the Israeli delegation of the hearing and said they had made it clear that incidents of this nature “would not be tolerated.”
Nicola reportedly told the IOC that the incident had simply been “a misunderstanding.”
The heads of the Israeli delegation were pleased to hear about the action taken by the IOC and said they were eager to move on from the incident.
“I welcome the Olympic committee’s treatment of the shameful behavior and antisemitism demonstrated by the Lebanese delegation,” said Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, who had expressed outrage over the incident. “I expect [the committee] to take this type of action in any instance of antisemitism and exclusion of Israeli athletes from competitions around the world. I thank the president of Israel’s Olympic Committee, Igal Carmi, for his cooperation and for his support of our athletes.”