Israel Bars Pakistan Soccer Coach From Entering West Bank

Mohammed Shamlan, a Bahraini national, was stopped en route in Jordan as his team traveled to the opening of the Al-Nakba International tournament near Jerusalem.

Fans at A-Ram stadium
Fans hold Palestinian flags at the start of their 2014 World Cup first round second leg qualifying soccer match against Afghanistan at A-Ram stadium near Jerusalem July 3, 2011. Reuters

Israeli authorities stopped Pakistan's soccer coach Mohammed Shamlan en route with his team from Jordan to the West Bank, Pakistani media reported on Saturday.

According to reports in Dawn and The News International newspapers, Shamlan, who is a Bahraini national, was not permitted to continue with his team to the West Bank to attend the Al-Nakba International tournament.

Pakistan is scheduled to face Jordan on Sunday as the tournament opens at the Faisal Al-Husseni Stadium in A-Ram, near Jerusalem.  

Pakistan Football Federation secretary Col. Ahmed Yar Khan told Dawn on Friday that “Shamlan is stuck in Jordan and is yet to receive permission to travel through Israel."

He added: "The team received the visas and have proceeded to Palestine. We’re in talks with officials of the Israel Football Association (IFA) and they have assured us that the matter will be resolved by Sunday.”