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Jewish Journal

Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans protest hiring of Muslim players

JTA

Posted on Jan. 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem hold a banner reading "Beitar will always remain pure" during a Premier League match in Jerusalem Jan 26. Photo by Stringer/REUTERS

Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem hold a banner reading "Beitar will always remain pure" during a Premier League match in Jerusalem Jan 26. Photo by Stringer/REUTERS

Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club are protesting its decision to bring in two Muslim players.

The players from the Chechen Terek Gorzny team will join Beitar Jerusalem in the coming in days.

During a Premier League game last Friday against Bnei Yehuda at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, three fans were arrested for chanting anti-Muslim slogans. A sign reading "Beitar will be pure forever" was unfurled during the game. 

"As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference between a Jewish player and a Muslim player," team owner Arkadi Gaydamak, a Russian-Israeli tycoon, told Ynet in an interview.

Last March, hundreds of Beitar Jerusalem fans chanting anti-Arab slogans assaulted Arab workers at a Jerusalem mall following a game. Sixteen fans were arrested; six were banned from future games.

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