Israel and UAE rugby teams face off in 1st after new ties

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By ISABEL DEBRE | AP
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1616239774865666400
Fri, 2021-03-19 18:46

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: In the Middle East, where sport and diplomacy are closely intertwined, political passions can spill over onto the playing field.
With the Palestinian cause the core issue uniting Arabs across the region for decades, Israeli players meeting Arab opponents on the field have learned the age-old conflict always looms. Spectators have thrown shoes and jeered. Egyptians, Saudis and others have refused handshakes or pulled out of matches.

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