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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 18:23 UK

Israelis withdraw Mosley invite

Max Mosley
Mosley has come under an increasing pressure to resign

Under-fire FIA president Max Mosley has had an official invitation to visit Israel "withdrawn immediately".

Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, Galeb Majadle, acted after learning of the recent scandal involving Mosley.

He was accused by a newspaper of taking part in a "Nazi-style orgy". He denies his deeds had Nazi connotations.

The news comes on the day Mosley denied avoiding F1 races and confirmed he will be at May's Grand Prix in Monaco, where he has a home.

Majadle met Mosley this week at the inaugural Jordan Rally, but was unaware of the scandal surrounding the 68-year-old Briton.

His ministry issued a statement on Friday claiming that "his invitation was not intended to be personal to Mosley himself, but rather to the representative of the FIA as a global organisation".

I fully understand the minister's position

Max Mosley
The turnaround is a blow for the embattled Mosley, who has come out fighting after numerous calls for his resignation as motorsport's world chief.

He was not at the Bahrain GP on 6 April, after the Gulf state's rulers made clear his presence would not be welcome.

And some critics suggested his absence from this weekend's Spanish GP was to avoid any potential embarrassment to the King of Spain.

But Mosley said he never had any plan to attend the Barcelona event and insisted he would be present at Monaco in May.

"I never had any intentions of going to Barcelona, because I had nothing to do there," he said, despite the fact that the FIA launched an anti-racism campaign at the Spanish circuit this week.

"I only went to one complete F1 race last year. That was Monaco, and that was because I live there."

"I will be going to the Monaco GP [in May]. I live there."

The FIA also issued a statement saying it appreciated the nature of Majadle's position.

"The FIA is grateful to Galeb Majadle for extending an invitation to visit Israel.

"The FIA is delighted with the recent legalisation of motor sport in the country and intends to offer the minister every assistance in what promises to be a major addition to motor sport in the region.

"The FIA understands the circumstances under which the minister's invitation has now been withdrawn."

In the statement, Mosley was quoted as saying: "I fully understand the minister's position and look forward to resuming contact with him when the News of the World's deliberate and calculated lies have been comprehensively refuted."

Mosley is suing the News of the World for unlimited damages, but the newspaper has repeatedly said it stands by its story.

Former champions, several car manufacturers, and some FIA members have called for Mosley to quit. Mosley has said he will not seek another term beyond October 2009 - if he survives a vote of confidence.

That ballot will take place at an FIA general assembly in Paris on 3 June, nine days after the Monaco GP.

"My inclination is to stand and fight," he said. "If they wish me to continue, I will continue, if they don't, I'll stop."

see also
Ferraris leave Hamilton trailing
25 Apr 08 |  Formula One
F1 anti-racism campaign launched
24 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley aims to stand down in 2009
20 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley scandal 'has disgraced F1'
19 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley skips Spanish GP for rally
16 Apr 08 |  Motorsport
Mosley future hinges on key vote
09 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley 'orgy' injunction refused
09 Apr 08 |  UK News
Defiant Mosley takes on critics
05 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley sex scandal 'may cost F1'
06 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Mosley vows to fight on
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Pressure mounts on Mosley to quit
04 Apr 08 |  Formula One
FIA to hold Mosley crisis meeting
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One

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