|Betar fans.(Photo by: Asaf Kliger)|
FIFA could demand Betar Jerusalem be shut down
By ALLON SINAI
IFA chairman says if anti-Muslim bigotry continues, UEFA will demand closure; state cup match to be held at empty stadium.
In an effort to avoid a recurrence of Saturday’s racist behavior by fans, Betar
Jerusalem will ask the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary court to host
Tuesday’s State Cup match against Maccabi Umm al-Fahm in front of an empty Teddy
Betar will stand trial at the IFA on Tuesday morning after
supporters reacted angrily to owner Arkadi Gaydamak’s announcement that the club
is set to sign Muslims Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev from Chechen club
Terek Grozny, raising banners reading: “Betar [will be] pure forever” and
singing anti- Arab chants during the 1-0 Premier League defeat to Bnei Yehuda on
Jerusalem chairman Itzik Kornfein met with IFA chairman Avi
Luzon on Monday and announced that Betar will request to be punished to play in
front of empty stands on Tuesday in a potentially volatile showdown with Umm
Luzon revealed during the meeting with Kornfein that FIFA and
UEFA are following the happenings at Betar and could demand the club be shut
down should the anti- Muslim bigotry in the stands continue.
implications of more racist chants could be disastrous to the future of our club
and I don’t usually speak in such a manner,” Kornfein said.
Jerusalem is ashamed of the racist behavior displayed in the match against Bnei
Yehuda. This behavior does not represent the club and its many fans.
club will continue to eradicate this phenomenon with all the means at its
Kornfein said that the club had stopped on Monday morning the
sale of tickets for the last 32 cup encounter against Umm al-Fahm and that it
will refund any fans who had already purchased tickets.
Kornfein also met
with police representatives on Monday and the sides agreed to heighten measures
against delinquent fans.
Besides Betar’s encounter against Umm al-Fahm,
eight more last 32 ties will take place on Tuesday.
In the only all-top
flight showdown of the day, leagueleader Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Maccabi
Tel Aviv increased its lead at the top of the league standings
to five points over the weekend, thrashing Hapoel Acre 4-0, with Maccabi Haifa
climbing up to second place at Hapoel Tel Aviv’s expense with a 3-0 victory over
the Reds on Sunday.
Netanya needed a 92ndminute equalizer to snatch a 1-1
draw against Hapoel Ramat Gan on Saturday and is just four points off the
Also Tuesday: Ironi Ramat Hasharon vs Maccabi Yavne;
Hapoel Acre vs Hapoel Afula; Asi Gilboa vs Hapoel Petah Tikva; Ness Ziona vs
Hapoel Ra’anana; Hapoel Rishon Lezion vs Ahi Nazareth; Hapoel Ashkelon vs Betar
Nahariya; Betar Tel Aviv/Ramle vs Bnei Lod. The remaining seven last 32 ties
will take place on Wednesday.