Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

At the 11th Maccabiah Mexican Athletes Refuse to Play Against South African Team

July 16, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The only untoward incident at the Maccabiah pertained to the competition against South Africa during the first draw of the soccer schedule. When Mexico learned it was to play in the same division as South Africa it threatened to withdraw from the games, it was revealed by sources in the know here.

Mexican Maccabiah officials, upon learning they would have to play the tean from South Africa, informed the Maccabiah organizing committee that the Mexican government advised the squad in no uncertain terms before they left for the games that it would not tolerate the squad ‘s participation against the representatives from that country in any of the venues.

As a result of this mandate the Mexicans requested the local organizing committee to move Mexico to a second division, in soccer, so that there would be little or no possibility of the soccer teams meeting on the soccer field. The organizing committee acquiesced and revised the two division set-ups to preclude a possible meeting between the two teams.

South Africa was barred from competing in the 1969 and 1973 maccabiot by that country’s soccer federation. The ban was lifted for the 1977 games by that federation but despite this action, the Mexican government persists in boycotting all sports activities involving South Africa.

Recommended from JTA