After handshake snub at Israel game, Meta suspends Irish Basketball's Instagram account

Irish national governing body for sport protests permanently losing access to account, asserting 'no legitimate reason for Meta to do so'

Raanan Weiss|
Less than two weeks after the Irish women's national basketball team refused to shake hands with their Israeli counterparts before a EuroBasket qualifier, Meta "permanently disabled" the Instagram account of the Irish national governing body for the sport, it announced on Saturday.
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Players of Ireland's national women's basketball team shunned their Israeli counterparts before their EuroBasket qualifier match last Thursday in Riga, in an apparent protest over the war in Gaza. Moreover, the Irish team opted not to participate in the player introductions, choosing instead to stay near the substitutes' bench.
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Israeli players in center court during national anthems, Irish players near the substitutes' bench
(Photo: Oksana Dzadan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Sharon Drucker's players responded on the court with a resounding 30-point rout, 87-57. “Sports need to be kept outside of politics and that’s not what happened today or lately with the Irish,” Israeli captain Eden Rotberg said after the match. “It was very difficult for me to watch them during the national anthem being disrespectful.”
Irish Basketball issued a strongly worded response after losing access to its Instagram account, asserting that "there is no legitimate reason for Meta to do so.”
“Basketball Ireland lost access to its Instagram page on Sunday, 11th February, and on Wednesday, 14th, it was informed by Meta that it has been permanently disabled via an automated message,” a statement read.
“Basketball Ireland has been subject to added media and social media attention in the lead-up and the aftermath of the Ireland versus Israel FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2025 qualifier. However, nothing that has been posted on our social media channels during this time, before, or since, merits this decision by Meta. Basketball Ireland has raised this matter with the government and Sport Ireland.”
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