European Championship August 4, 2006

Israeli team face more protests

Cricinfo staff

Israel's continuing involvement in the European Championship was cast into doubt last night when various protest groups made it clear that they would continue to target matches in Glasgow involving the Israelis.

Israel's opening match on Thursday was cancelled when it became clear that up to 2000 protestors were planning to attend the game. Those same groups have said they plan to disrupt matches on Saturday and Sunday in protest at the conflict in Lebanon.

But Jewish leaders in Glasgow hit back. "We take exception that Israel should be singled out by the Stop the War Coalition from participating in sporting events in this country," Stephen Kliner, honorary president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, told the BBC. "By extension, every country involved in any form of border dispute or war situation should similarly be banned. Failure to call for similar bans against Russia for their involvement in Chechnya, China in Tibet, the USA in Iraq etc. etc. smacks of discrimination."

A spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition said the protests followed a tradition of "opposing tyrannical regimes and highlighting the injustices that they perpetrate".

Cricinfo learned that at the moment the weekend's matches are likely to go ahead as Thursday's game was only cancelled became the Glasgow Academicals ground in next to a nursery and there were fears about the effect major disruption could have on the children. As the nursery is shut at the weekend, that worry is removed.

Up to 500 police officers from the Strathclyde force are on standby to attend the event.

No spokesman from Cricket Scotland or the European Cricket Council was available for comment.