Sponsor demands Vitesse apologises for Dan Mori
Insurance company Menzis, one of the main sponsors of Dutch football club Vitesse, has demanded a public apology from the club for not taking Israeli player Dan Mori to a training camp in United Arab Emirates, Volkskrant reported Friday.
Mori did not join Vitesse’s training camp in Abu Dhabi for the second half of the season because he has an Israeli passport.
In a letter to Vitesse director Joost de Wit, the insurance company said it is very disappointed with the club’s decision to leave the player behind, the newspaper said.
"One of the reasons Menzis sponsors football is that football brings people together, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Football is about team spirit, winning and losing together," stated Roger van Boxtel, chairman of the board of directors of Menzis.
Menzis, which has more than 2 million customers, wants the club to apologize and explain in writing why the team left for training in the UAE without Mori.
Vitesse’s decision to go to the UAE without Mori was heavily criticised in the Netherlands and abroad. The issue has created frustration among the government and the football club.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans, said he would’ve been ‘happy to help’ Vitesse in an attempt to get Mori, a player of Israeli origin, to the training camp if his mediation to obtain a visa “was invoked in time.”
The football club never met the visa requirements, according to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The embassy strongly affirms that no application or request has been submitted for this visit,” according to a statement on the UAE website. Information on the website clearly states Dutch can obtain a visa on arrival in the UAE, but Israelis have to submit an application prior to their trip.
Vitesse will officially report to the FIFA that Mori is not allowed into the UAE, according to the spokeswoman Esther Bal.