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July 02, 2002
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Pakistani tennis player faces ban for partnering with Israeli

The BBC (www.bbc.co.uk) reports that Aisamul Qureshi, a Muslim Pakistani tennis player, may face a ban from the Pakistani Sports Board.

Pakistan's Aisamul Haq Qureshi has been condemned by his country's sports officials for partnering an Israeli at Wimbledon.

Qureshi, a 22-year-old Muslim, created history with the help of Jewish Hadad by becoming the first Pakistani player to reach the third round of a Grand Slam event.

But instead of being celebrated back in his home country, officials are considering imposing a ban over his choice of partner.

"Although he is playing in his private capacity, we officially condemn his playing with an Israeli player and an explanation has been sought from him," said Pakistan Sports Board director Brigadier Saulat Abbas.

"Since Pakistan has no links with Israel, Qureshi may face a ban."

The Sport Board from Pakistan joins the thousands of racists Muslim organizations and institutions that cannot even accept the idea of a Jew partnering with a Muslim to play tennis! These are some pretty narrow-minded morons.

Let's root for Hadad and Qureshi and hope they get far in Wimbledon - any Jewish/Muslim cooperation should be supported, not condemned.

I copy the full article below.

Pakistanis condemn Israeli tennis link
BBC - 29 June, 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport/hi/
english/tennis/wimbledon/newsid_2074000/2074054.stm

Pakistan's Aisamul Haq Qureshi has been condemned by his country's sports officials for partnering an Israeli at Wimbledon.
Qureshi has teamed up with Amir Hadad and together they upset 11th seed Rick Leech and Ellis Ferreira on Friday to make it to the third round of the men's doubles.

Qureshi, a 22-year-old Muslim, created history with the help of Jewish Hadad by becoming the first Pakistani player to reach the third round of a Grand Slam event.

But instead of being celebrated back in his home country, officials are considering imposing a ban over his choice of partner.

"Although he is playing in his private capacity, we officially condemn his playing with an Israeli player and an explanation has been sought from him," said Pakistan Sports Board director Brigadier Saulat Abbas.

"Since Pakistan has no links with Israel, Qureshi may face a ban."

Qureshi was unperturbed by the controversy and is hoping his decision to leave politics on the sidelines will be seen in a positive light.

"I am surprised at the fuss being made over my partnership," he said. "I would like to be talked about for my tennis rather than politics.

"If we can change people's minds then that would be a good thing."

Qureshi played a key role in Pakistan's Davis Cup semi-final win over Taiwan in the Asia Oceania zone group II.

But his place in the team for their vital Davis Cup tie against China in September has been thrown into doubt.

When players compete on the professional circuit they are not bound to national federations," Pakistan Tennis Federation President Syed Dilawar Abbas said.

"But we have sought an explanation from him and if advised by the government we may take action."

Saeed Hai, a former leading Pakistan player, also condemned his actions in the light of the current relations between the two countries.

"Due to the bloodshed in the Middle East, Qureshi's pairing with an Israeli player is wrong," he said.

But Pakistan's tennis captain Rasheed Malik spoke up in support of Qureshi.

"We should appreciate his progress in an international event rather than criticising it," Malik said.

"At times you have no option when it comes to choosing your partner and what he has achieved should be appreciated."

Making money

The 24-year-old Hadad also remained defiant against any criticism of their partnership.

"I don't care what people think about it," said the 24-year-old Hadad.

"As long as we enjoy playing together we will continue. When we agreed to get together it was all about doing well here, making some money and improving our doubles ranking.

"If we win here then I would dedicate the victory to my family and to peace.

"It would be good for those doubters to see that even though we are from different religions it is possible for us to work together and have some fun.

"A Jew and a Muslim playing together is not the end of the world. We are all human beings. We have the same blood, the same skin."

Posted by David Melle at July 02, 2002 08:55 AM
Comments

Isn't God of Abraham the same God of both Jew and Muslim people and of Christians?
Who is to worry about which nationality one plays tennis with?

Posted by: Kris on April 19, 2006 12:15 PM
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