Beitar Jerusalem Football Fans Chant Against Club's Muslim Signings
By Gianluca Mezzofiore | January 28, 2013 9:23 PM EST
Hard-line supporters of an Israeli right-wing football club have protested against the club's decision to hire two Muslim players.
Beitar Jerusalem's owner, the Russian-Israeli Arkady Gaydamak, announced the signing of two Chechen footballers, Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev, from Russian team Terek Grozny.
But during a Premier League game yesterday - International Holocaust Day - fans branded a banner reading "Beitar will always remain pure". Driven by fan pressure, Beitar is infamous for being the only Israel football team never to have signed an Arab player.
The only Muslim player ever to join the team, Nigerian defender Ibrahim Nadalla, left shortly after signing in 2005.
"Imagine, just imagine what would have happened if (soccer) clubs in England and Germany had announced that a Jew cannot join their teams. We, the Jewish people, who should lead the fight against racism and fascism; we, who will bear the scars of these phenomena on our bodies for generations to come, cannot and must not stay silent in the face of these calls," Israeli Knesset speaker and a senior ruling Likud member, Reuven Rivlin, said yesterday.
Jerusalem police arrested three supporters on charges of incitement at yesterday's match, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
The Israeli Football Association (IFA) said it would take disciplinary action against the club.
Arab citizens make up around 20 percent of Israel's population of 7.8 million.
Last March, fans of Beitar ran wild in a shopping mall in Jerusalem, chanted anti-Arab songs and attacked Arab workers.
CCTV footage shows a large crowd of Beitar fans shouting "Death to the Arabs" and "I hate all Arabs" as they ran riot, although no complaints were filed with police.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Rafael Nadal On Roger Federer: ‘He’s A Good Person, A Fantastic Player And A Great Man On Court’
- Jeremy Lin’s Big Break: Steve Nash Out For The Season For The Los Angeles Lakers
- NBA News: Teammate Stresses Jeremy Lin's Importance To The Lakers
- Manny Pacquiao Is Better Than Floyd Mayweather Jr. In Basketball Claims Freddie Roach
- Chelsea FC: Mourinho Hints Cesc Fabregas Could Succeed John Terry As Club Captain
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Slams US 'Double Standards' In The Fight Against ISIS