Vitesse makes public apology for Mori matter
Dutch football club Vitesse has made a public apology for its decision to send team for a training camp in United Arab Emirates without defender Dan Mori.
Mori did not join the club’s training camp in Abu Dhabi for the second half of the season because he has an Israeli passport.
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.
Last week, insurance group Menzis, one of the main sponsors of Vitesse, has demanded a public apology from the club for not taking Mori to a training camp in UAE.
The UAE and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations and Israelis are required to submit a request prior to their trip.
The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates said that there was no visa request made for Mori visit. “The embassy strongly affirms that no application or request has been submitted for this visit,” according to a statement on the UAE website.
Vitesse said it had verbal confirmation that Mori would be allowed to join team in the UAE, but never formally applied for a visa, Arabian Business reported on Monday.
“The decision to travel to Abu Dhabi without Mori is understandable but unfortunate,” Vitesse said in a statement.
“In retrospect, different organisations have said there were options to make it possible to the UAE with Mori, who is Israeli. The complexity around organising travel to countries with specific entry procedures in a short space of time meant not all the options were utilised,” the club said.
“Vitesse regrets the commotion and offers apologies to everyone who feels in any way affected by the decision to exclude Mori.”