Protesters force Israel to flee to British airbase

Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:The Israel cricket team was forced to move a European championship match to the security of a British airbase after protesters disrupted their matches at venues in the host city of Glasgow.

Their European Second Division Championship match against Guernsey, due to have been played in the western Scottish city of Glasgow, took place 150 miles (240 kilometres) away at Royal Air Force base Lossiemouth.

The match was moved to the northeast Scottish coastal site after previous Israel fixtures were disrupted by protests against the Jewish state's ongoing conflict with the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

"We were approached to host two matches due to the cancellation of previous games," an RAF Lossiemouth spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The European Cricket Council and the International Cricket Council said they recognised that the circumstances were "difficult".

"However, everyone connected with this tournament is seeking to make the best of these circumstances by allowing players from every side to play the game they all love," the ECC and ICC said in a statement.

Osama Saeed, from the Muslim Association of Britain, said the Ministry of Defence should be comdemned for letting its facilities be used by the Israel team.

On the pitch, Guernsey beat Israel by five wickets.

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