KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Reuters) - Malaysia may give special permission to English side Chelsea's two Israelis to land in the country despite a travel ban on citizens of the Jewish state, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told local media on Monday.
Chelsea, whose coach Avram Grant and midfielder Tal Ben Haim are Israeli citizens, are set to play in Malayisa in July as part of their Asian summer tour.
'I'm not sure what the decision should be yet but it would be a pity if politics got in the way of sports,' Najib was quoted as telling The Star.
'We'll have to study the situation first, but I would like to see Chelsea playing here.'
Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
The last time Israeli athletes were allowed in Malaysia was for the 1997 ICC Trophy cricket tournament, which resulted in street protests in Kuala Lumpur.
The west London club are due to play Chinese Super League team Guangzhou Pharmaceutical on July 23 and a Malaysia select team in Kuala Lumpur on July 29.