February 17, 2011
Jewish soccer team suspended for non-Jewish ringers
A soccer team was suspended from a Jewish-only league in London after fielding non-Jewish players under false names.
A referee in the Maccabi Southern Football League became suspicious when two players for the Holy Mount Zion team, who were registered under Jewish-sounding names, were called by other names by their teammates, The Telegraph reported.
The players’ true identities were discovered by looking up their Facebook profiles. Six more players on the team have been asked to prove they are Jewish.
The team’s manager told the Jewish Chronicle that he turned to non-Jewish players because he did not have enough Jewish players to field the team.
“I didn’t have much choice,” said Rob Lerner, the manager of the Holy Mount Zion team. “I had to; it is the only way I could get a team out.”
The team has been suspended from playing, and the games they won this season are now in doubt. Managers of the other teams have called for Holy Mount Zion to be expelled from the league.