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Concern Expressed over Thailand’s Refusal to Invite Israeli Soccer Team to Asian Tournament in 1974

Israeli sports circles were surprised and very concerned over reports from Bangkok that Thailand has decided not to invite the Israeli junior soccer team to compete in the Asian junior tournament next year in Bangkok. This was regarded as a further setback to Israeli participation in Asian games.

The Bangkok report said that the reason for the decision was given as the need for extra security precautionary measures to safeguard the Israeli team from Black September attacks which would entail high expenses.

An Israeli Soccer Association official said regretfully that Thailand was within its rights not to invite Israel based on a recent amendment to the Asian games regulations introduced by Burma. The Burmese amendment enables any host country not to invite one or more countries to an Asian tournament.

The General Secretary of the Soccer Association, Joseph Dagan, who is about to leave for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the Asian Sport Federation will meet Aug. 10. has been instructed to make every effort possible to rescind the Burmese-amendment. Iran used the amendment last April to not invite Israel to the tournament in Teheran.

Israel-was holder of the Asian junior cup since the Bangkok games of last year but was prevented from defending its title in April and now will not be able to try again in Bangkok early next year. An Israeli boxing team was in Thailand recently and was heavily guarded.