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Israel Rejects Surprise Invitation from Indonesian Minister

The Israeli Football Association rejected today a surprise invitation to send a delegation to the Asian Football Confederation Congress which opens Friday in Jakarta. The Israelis rejected the bid because Moslem Indonesia had refused to admit a 27-man Israeli team to the Asian Games in Jakarta last week.

The invitation, signed by Indonesian Port Minister R. Maladi, extended a “bordial invitation” to the association, and requested a list of Israeli delegates names so that entry permits could be arranged. Indonesia barred Israeli athletes from the Asian Games by withholding such entry permits.

The Israeli association in its rejection informed the Indonesian official that the invitation was a surprise because Israel had asked that the Congress be held in a country “where discrimination against Israel does not exist. ” The reply added that since “our team was not permitted to take part in the Asian Games because of your astonishing unsportsmanlike refusal to grant us entry, we cannot take part in a Congress in the same country.”

(The New York Times, in a dispatch from Tokyo, reported yesterday that there had been criticism of the decision of the Japanese against withdrawal from the Asian Games because of the non-admission of Israel and Formosa to the Games but that Japanese political leaders were fearful of antagonizing Indonesia and that businessmen with investments there also opposed withdrawal. The Japanese Amateur Athletic Federation had forbidden its members to participate in the Games in Jakarta but the members defied the ban.)

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