South Africa removes U19 cricket captain over pro-Israel comments

David Teeger loses captaincy after dedicating award to IDF soldiers; South Africa Cricket says move ‘in best interests of all players, SA U-19 team and David himself’

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Friday it was relieving David Teeger from captaincy of their Under-19 side ahead of the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 after he expressed support for the State of Israel.
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In an official statement, the CSA declared that this step is "in the best interests of all the players, the SA U-19 team and David himself."
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(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
The announcement comes a day after the commencement of hearings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding a petition filed by South Africa against Israel, accusing it of committing "genocide" in the Gaza Strip. The court is asked to issue an interim order to stop the war.
Teeger, 19, who is Jewish, was appointed team captain in December 2023, following an investigation that cleared him of violating behavioral codes due to his support for Israel.
Last October, after receiving a Jewish Rising Star award at a special ceremony of the Jewish community in Johannesburg, Teeger said in his speech that the “real rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel… fighting so that we can live and thrive in the Diaspora."
Three weeks later, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), operating in South Africa, filed a complaint with the local cricket association, labeling Teeger's remarks as "a provocative and incendiary political statement."
"As is the case with all such events, CSA has been receiving regular security and risk updates regarding the World Cup. We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament," CSA said in a statement.
"We have also been advised that they are likely to focus on the position of the SA Under-19 captain, David Teeger, and that there is a risk that they could result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors.
"CSA has a primary duty to safeguard the interests and safety of all those involved in the World Cup and must accordingly respect the expert advice of those responsible for the safety of participants and spectators.
"In all the circumstances, CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team and David himself."
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