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Israeli Gamers to Compete in Saudi Arabia Under Israeli Flag

Esports players (photo credit: KTO Apostas)
Esports players (photo credit: KTO Apostas)

Israeli video gamers arrived in Riyadh over the weekend to compete in the world championship of the FIFA electronic game.

The three-member team, which is second place in the world, flew to Saudi Arabia via the UAE and entered the country with their coach and manager on their Israeli passports, a very rare occurrence. They will be allowed to display the Israeli flag with Hatikvah playing in the opening ceremony on July 16, in accordance with the FIFAe World Cup's rules.

Initial photos of the gamers in Riyadh show them wearing blue and white shirts that say Israel on them.

However, the team will not show that they are Israeli in public, but will not hide their identity in the tournament, Team manager Zvika Kosman told KAN.

FIFA, not the Israeli government, negotiated with the Saudi government to ensure that Israelis would be allowed to enter, Kosman said.

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