Fans of Beitar Jerusalem FC, one of Israel’s biggest football clubs, are angry and upset over the signing of two Muslim players Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev. The team’s hardcore right-wing supporters even walked out of the stadium on Sunday night at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, Israel.
While playing against Maccabi Netanya, the devoted fan club called ‘La Familia’ instead of cheering their favorite team, slammed Beitar Jerusalem and showered harsh criticism on the team. They are two of just five non-Israeli players in Beitar Jerusalem.
What’s more, whenever 23-year-old Sadayev touched the ball, most of the crowd, especially La Familia members would boo at the player. Things took a rather ugly turn when the Chechen striker scored a goal on his debut for the team. Beitar’s best player Dario Fernandez jumped on his teammate’s shoulders in joy when suddenly half of the crowd, including a large chunk of La Familia, walked out of the stadium.
Many fans belonging to La Familia say that this sort of conduct towards the two Muslim players is not racist. But at the same time they also say that the club’s sanctity is being threatened with Arabs [indirectly meaning Muslims] on the team. One right-wing fan even said, “Beitar Jerusalem has always been a clean club, but now it’s being destroyed – many of the other players are thinking of leaving because of the Muslim players being here.”
It’s quite obvious that the La Familia members, and others who think like them, are being a little hypocrite here. Booing at a player and walking out of the stadium even when he scores for your team is called hatred and doing so because that player is a Muslim is actually called racism if you come to think of it.
To not accept someone because of their lineage, religion, caste, color, ethnicity etc is definitely discrimination. Also, media reports confirm that after the two Muslim Players were signed, several offices of the club were burnt down in Jerusalem. If this is not racism, then what is? You decide.