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
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Rafael Nadal’s Coach Reveals The Spanish Athlete Will Be Back On Court Soon
- Manny Pacquiao Is The Greatest Fighter That Ever Lived Declares Magician David Blaine
- Guardiola Mockingly States That Man Utd Does Not Have The Means To Acquire Bayern Munich Players
- Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Superfight Won’t Happen Because Floyd Is Scared Of Left-Handed Boxers, Pacman - Bob Arum
- Serena Williams Shows Off Her Bikini Body With Eva Longoria At The Miami Beach After US Open Victory
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Canadian IS Jihadist Wants to ‘Play Soccer’ with Heads of US Decapitated Soldiers
- Warning to U.S. – ISIS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet
- Spice Dream Uno vs Xiaomi Redmi 1S: Android One Smartphone to Challenge The Existing Budget Friendly Smartphone