You can't sit with us! Lebanese and Israeli Olympians in bus brawl

The Israeli delegation appeared to have taken the stance as a hostile act. (Reuters)

The Olympics have always been a stadium of political controversy over the years, where countries who were at war together compete on both combat and athletic fields.

Lebanon’s delegation reportedly blocked the Israeli delegation from entering a bus filled with the former’s athletes who were on their way to the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium, reported Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar on Sunday.

“I asked the bus driver to close the door but the guide with the Israeli team prevented him from doing so,” Lebanon chef de mission Salim Haj Nicola told the paper. “I then stood at the door of the bus to prevent the Israel team from entering and some of them tried to go in and pick up a fight.”

The Israeli delegation appeared to have taken the stance as a hostile act, however still insisting that the Olympic committee organizers were the ones to place the two countries on the same bus.

“The organizing committee saw the blunt behavior of the head of the Lebanese delegation and immediately arranged a different bus for us,” Gili Lusting, head of the Israeli delegation, said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Lebanon and Israel have a long history of conflict, with the border between both countries known as a hot spot shrouded with controversy and tension.

This summer marks a decade since the 2006 war when Israel battled Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, where 1,200 Lebanese (hundreds of them civilians) and 160 Israeli (most of them soldiers) have fallen.

(With The Associated Press)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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