TEL AVIV (Aug. 22)
Israel was ousted today, as expected, from the Asian Football (soccer) Confederation by a unanimous vote of the 21 delegates attending the Confederation conferences at Kuala Lumpur. Israel helped to establish the Confederation in 1954 and participated in all subsequent Asiatic soccer tournaments under Confederation sponsorship.
Israeli Education Minister Aharon Yadlin said, in the first official reaction to the ouster, that this move was an expression of the political illness infecting present day sports.
Speaking at a reception given by Premier Yitzhak Rabin for Israel’s Olympic team at the Montreal games, Yadlin denounced the ouster move as an “act of discrimination against Israel, contrary to the regulations of the Asian Football Confederation and the principles of the International Federation of Football Associations and contrary to the spirit of sports.” He challenged world sports leaders to reject the ouster decision, adding. “I find it bard to believe they will ignore it.”
ALMOGI REFUSED ENTRY VISA
The ouster motion was made by Ahmed el-Saadon, a member of the Kuwaiti delegation. In anticipation of the ouster action, Michael Almogi, chairman of the Israel Football Association, had applied for, and was refused, an entry visa by Malaysia. Almogi who made the application on grounds Israel was entitled to have a representative present during debate at the ouster session, called the refusal a flagrant violation of fair play concepts.
Che Hin of Malaysia, the Confederation’s general secretary, said this morning, it was reported here from Kuala Lumpur, that he had received a cable from Almogi demanding that the Confederation discuss his proposal for Saadon to be dismissed for presenting the ouster proposal, but the cable was not read at the meeting.
The decision today left Israel in the strange position of still being a member of the international football federation but without membership in any regional football federation. There was a possibility, it was indicated, that Israel might be accepted by the European regional soccer group. Israel, along with North Korea and North Vietnam, is excluded from any regional soccer group. The Israeli basketball league is a participant in the European federation.