Kick It Out campaign coverage by BBC News
Beitar Jerusalem’s football fans have a notorious reputation for racism. Teddy Stadium, where the team plays, has often heard the intimidating racist chant “Death to Arabs.” For decades Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem football club was known for violence and racism within a hardcore group of fans. No longer.
Since the inception of NIF’s campaign in 2003, when racist chanting was commonplace at Israeli football matches, Kick It Out has campaigned relentlessly to highlight the problem, which has gradually been reduced over the years.
Click here to watch an amazing short film by the BBC News about our ‘Kick it Out’ campaign to end racism in football.
Credit for the final push also goes to Beitar’s new high-tech billionaire owner Moshe Hogeg. Beitar has never had an Arab player and when the club signed Maccabi Netanya midfielder Ali Mohamed last month, some fans protested, though some backed down when they realized that Mohamed is Christian. Some extreme fans told Hogeg they would accept the player only if he changed his name.
Hogeg said, “When I contacted Maccabi Netanya about Mohamed, I didn’t know what his religion was and it didn’t interest me. Even if he were a Muslim, he would have come to the club. And every time he scores the loudspeaker system in the stadium will shout out his name – Mohamed.”
NIF will continue to combat racism wherever it exists.
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