Shalom Life | May 11, 2015

Beitar Jerusalem's Racist Fans Cost Them Europa League

The Israeli soccer club was penalized after fans chanted racist remarks to opposing player Ahmed Abed

By: Jonathan Dick

Published: May 8th, 2015 in Sports » Israel

Photo: Beitar Jerusalem team


Just this past year alone, racism, as a vitriolic corruption, has manifested itself in many different ways in the the sporting world. It seems to know no bounds or sides when fans make the horrific assumption of mistaking a competitive sports match as an excuse to express their inflammatory and racist opinions.

Yesterday, as reported by The Jerusalem Post, Israeli soccer association Beitar Jerusalem had two points officially deducted due to racist chants. Fans of Beitar specifically directed their racist remarks to Ahmed Abed, an Israeli-Arab forward from the opposing Ironi Kiryat Shmona football club. The points were deducted by the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary court, and because of the deduction, Beitar can no longer qualify for UEFA's Europa League competition.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Beitar has faced flack or discipline from their governing body. In fact, as Reuters reported, this would be the club’s fourth time this season alone and the disciplinary actions against them are “far more than any other Israeli club.”

Most notably, back in November 2014, Beitar played Israel’s only entirely-Arab soccer team Bnei Sakhnin. The controversial match “saw Israeli Beitar fans chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ while Sakhnin fans threw items onto the pitch and lit flares.”

Understandably, in light of the recent events, the Jerusalem Post further reported that Beitar is irate as it has dropped “one place to fifth in the standings”, inevitably impeding the club’s aspirations of qualification in the Europa league.

The court commented on its ruling of the most recent racist event that “there is no other example of a club repeatedly facing a charge of this kind... and justice must be meted out.”

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