The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) has vehemently condemned the recent decision by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to relieve David Teeger of his captaincy of the South African under-19 cricket team.
This after CSA announced on Friday that Teeger had been stripped of the captaincy for safety and security reasons. The move happened ahead of the U19 Cricket World Cup, which is being held in South Africa.
Security threat due to war in Gaza
“As is the case with all such events, CSA has been receiving regular security and risk updates regarding the World Cup,” a CSA statement read.
“We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament.
“In all the circumstances, CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team and David himself.”
SAZF calls it blatant discrimination
In a counter statement by SAZF on Friday, the federation condemned the decision made by CSA It called this a blatant act of discrimination and antisemitism against Teeger.
“This decision, purportedly made due to ‘security’ considerations because of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, is a blatant act of discrimination and antisemitism against a Jewish player,” read the statement.
“The action taken against Teeger, who is Jewish, solely based on his religious identity and personal beliefs. It is deeply troubling and sets a dangerous precedent for sports in this country.
“It is an affront to the values of diversity, inclusivity, and the spirit of sportsmanship that cricket and indeed all sports are supposed to embody.
“Discrimination on the grounds of religion or personal belief is unacceptable in any form. It should have no place in sports. [Sports] are supposed to unite people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.”
The federation said the decision is unconvincing, suggesting that the CSA is masking discriminatory motives.
Unfair penalising of innocent person
“The organisation has failed to explain why they are incapable or unwilling to put in place the usual security measures to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.
“This decision not only unfairly penalises Teeger but also potentially endangers the principle of religious freedom and expression in sports. It is an action that cannot be justified under the guise of safety. Especially without transparent evidence supporting such a claim.
“The SAZF calls upon CSA to provide a full and transparent explanation for the pressure that led to this decision.
Demands apology and reinstatement
“Furthermore, we demand an immediate apology from CSA to Mr Teeger. We call for his reinstatement as the captain of the South African under-19 cricket team.
“Failure to do so would be an injustice to him and a disservice to the principles of equality and fairness.”