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Vitesse disappointed as Mori refused UAE entry

The joint-leaders in the Eredivisie have flown to the Emirates to prepare for the second half of the season as they look to maintain their challenge for a first league title, yet their trip has been overshadowed.

Mori, who has only made one appearance in the league this season, was originally granted access to the UAE but that decision was overturned a day before Vitesse were due to fly out.

"We were aware that the Emirates does not recognise Israel as a country," a club spokesperson told Perform.

"The bureau that organised the trip for us had a verbal agreement from the local authorities that he was able to go because he is part of a professional sports team - that's why they could make an exception.

"We had a last check-up on Saturday after training and all of a sudden they changed their minds and said he wouldn't be able to entry the country."

Although shocked at the decision, Vitesse opted to leave the 25-year-old defender at home and fulfil their obligations in the UAE without him.

"We wouldn't take the risk of facing problems in the airport, or the disturbance around the team, so together with the player we said we were not going to take that risk," the Vitesse spokesperson added.

"So he stayed in Arnhem. He wanted the team to go; he was very clear about that, (as it was) in the best interests of the team and we are here to prepare for the second half of the season.

"It is a big blow because you want to go with the whole squad, and his colleagues are upset about it but they are all professionals.

"We as a club try to stay away from politics, religion. We'll leave the discussions in the Netherlands to the politicians and concentrate on the sporting aspect.

"We have to move on; we are here to prepare for the second half of the season. What happens afterwards we'll see when we get back."