Israel Triathlon Team Denied in Jordan for Asian Cup
Six members of Israel’s triathlon team, including 21-year-old Itamar Lebanon, were supposed to take part in the Asian Cup competition in Jordan this weekend, but they were banned to enter the country.
“It is what it is,” claimed Jordanian authorities, despite the peace agreement between Jerusalem and Amman.
The intervention of Israeli officials, including from the Culture and Sports Ministry, was not enough to get Lebanon into Jordan, who missed a very important competition.
“I and the team members signed up for the competition, but as soon as the list of participants was published, we saw that we were not in,” said the triathlete.
“The argument we were given for not being on the list was simply ‘you are Israelis.’”
“Today, I came alone to Aqaba to register face-to-face and settle this matter, but I was told again that it was not possible because I am Israeli,” he continued.
“I told them that it was obviously against international law and sportsmanship, but I couldn’t manage to change the evil of the decision. It is very important for me to gain points in the race for the Olympics. The way things are going is very disappointing and very sad.”
Jordan explained that “the organizers of the competition feared that they would not be able to ensure the security of the Israelis in the event of an incident.”
About a year ago, Indonesia also did not allow Israel’s squash team to enter the country for the world championship before the event was eventually called off.