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'Fake sheikh' prank leaves Dutch club red-faced

Europe news
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Vitesse's Mori refused entry to UAE

Vitesse Arnhem's Israeli defender Dan Mori has been refused permission to enter the United Arab Emirates in order to attend a warm weather training camp.

Dan Mori, Vitesse Arnhem
Dan Mori has been unable to join the Vitesse squad in the UAE.

The Dutch club, second in the Eredivisie table, have scheduled a set of friendlies in the Middle East -- but Mori has been forced to stay in the Netherlands after being denied access to the country.

According to reports, some Dutch politicians described Vitesse as "cowardly" for going ahead with the trip after Mori was refused entry, but the club said cancelling had not been an option.

"We are playing against clubs who are banking on us coming and we want to prepare ourselves properly for the second half of the season," Vitesse spokesperson Esther Bal told the Netherlands' Radio One. "Organisers had assured us Mori would be allowed to enter the country."

And Bal told De Gelderlander: "We stay clear of politics and religion," Vitesse spokesperson Esther Bal was quoted as saying in De Gelderlander. "We always do in these matters. We are a football club."

"We had been told by the organisers that Mori was welcome as part of our team, but on Saturday we suddenly heard that was not the case."

"We have commitments here and want to prepare as well as possible for the season half of the Eredivisie season. The team is of the utmost importance -- Mori has also said that himself."

The Dutch FA (KNVB) said it would not get involved, in the situation, with a spokesman telling reporters: "It's a political question."

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