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
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao Has Got Chris Algieri Fight All Figured Out
- Manny Pacquiao KO Of Chris Algieri Will ‘Shut Up’ Floyd Mayweather Jr. Declares Freddie Roach
- New York Knicks Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Live Streaming Info, Preview And Betting Odds
- San Francisco Giants Beat Kansas City Royals, 3-2 In Game 7, Wins 2014 MLB World Series [PHOTOS]
- Los Angeles Lakers Suffer Second Straight Loss, Phoenix Suns Deal Kobe Bryant Another Blowout Defeat, 119-99
- NATO: Russia's Been Conducting Too Many Military Flights Over Europe
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Moto X 2014 vs. Motorola DROID Turbo - Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Motorola Droid Turbo – S-Pen Is Note’s 4 USP But Droid Turbo Can Outshine With Larger Battery