The dispute over the apparent refusal of the United Arab Emirates to grant entry to Vitesse’s Israeli footballer Dan Mori has taken another twist, with the UAE denying it had ever been asked for a visa.
In a short statement on its website, the UAE states: ‘The embassy has followed – with interest – in the media the issue of the Dutch soccer team visit to the UAE. The embassy would like to categorically confirm there was no application or request made to us for this visit.’
Vitesse claims to have been told by the UAE authorities on Saturday that Mori was not welcome despite being given earlier verbal assurances he would be allowed in.
The club decided not to postpone the trip and left the defender behind. The Eredivise side is in Abu Dhabi for winter training and several friendly matches.
The decision to make the journey has been criticised by politicians and Jewish groups. Vitesse and the Dutch football association KNVB said on Tuesday they planned to raise the issue with the world football body Fifa later.