Not so international tournament (illustration)
An Egyptian football team, which included diplomats from the Egyptian Embassy in Rome, boycotted an international tournament after a raffle determined it would play against the Israeli team, comprised of Israelis living in the Italian capital and embassy workers.
The Israeli team was formed as part of the State of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations following the initiative of Ofer Mazar, the Israeli consul in Rome.
Twenty countries from all across the globe are taking part in the international tournament, scheduled to begin Saturday, including Algeria, Morocco and Egypt.
The raffle held on May 17 determined that Israel would play against three teams – Spain, Egypt and an international team which does not belong to a certain country.
On Wednesday, the organizers informed the Israeli Embassy that the Egyptians had decided to quit the tournament due to the results of the raffle.
It should be noted that the Israeli and Egyptian embassies in Rome are usually known for the good relations between them. It appears, however, that the Egyptian representatives did not wish to take part in an event held in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary.
The Israeli Embassy in Cairo was instructed to ask the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to look into the Egyptian representatives' behavior. Israeli officials fear that such an order had been issued to all Egyptian embassies worldwide.