Maccabi Tel Aviv’s seven foreign players refuse to return to Israel

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All seven foreign players of Maccabi Tel Aviv did not return with the team to Israel on Friday after the Euroleague game in Belgrade the night before. All leading Israeli sports media cited the club’s decision to cut 15 per cent of the players’ wages due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict as the cause for the incident, reports Xinhua.

Due to the conflict, Maccabi hosts its Euroleague games at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade, Serbia, behind closed doors, resulting in heavy financial losses. On Thursday, Maccabi played the local side Red Star Belgrade and lost 98-92. “At the end of the game, the foreign players spoke with the club’s management and announced their decision not to arrive in Israel,” Maccabi said in a statement.

It added that the team will show up for its two upcoming Israeli Super League games on Saturday and Monday with only Israeli players. Maccabi’s next Euroleague game is against Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania on Thursday.

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