Foreign minister Frans Timmermans would have gladly helped Arnhem football club Vitesse in its efforts to get an Israeli player permission to join the club's winter training camp in Abu Dhabi, he said on Tuesday.

Speaking from Cuba, where he is on a three-day visit, Timmermans said: 'if my help was asked for on time, I would have done what I could to make it possible for [Dan] Mori to travel.'

Vitesse was told the by the UAE on Saturday defender Mori was not welcome because of his Israeli passport. The club says it had been given earlier assurances Mori would be allowed in and decided not to call off the trip because it would interfere with the training.

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