Israeli fans who traveled to Italy to watch soccer team Hapoel Beersheba play in the UEFA cup against Italian powerhouse Inter Milan were blocked from entering the stadium by a pro-Palestinian protest on Thursday.
One of the Israeli fans, Tal Lavi, a media manager for The Jerusalem Post, said that local police and stadium security for San Siro Stadium told Israeli soccer fans that they would not be allowed to enter the premises due to security concerns.
Video taken by Lavi shows protestors near the stadium waving Palestinian flags and shouting chants in opposition to the soccer match.
Lavi said that an estimated 1,200 fans of Hapoel Beersheba were restricted to an enclosure far from the stadium by stadium security and local authorities.
According to the Jerusalem Post
employee, further police assistance was requested in order to address the matter.
The incident follows shortly after another episode involving an Israeli-Italian soccer event earlier this month.
On September 8, the Israel Football Association complained to the Italian Football Federation after two Italian fans were thrown out of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between the national teams in Haifa for giving the Nazi salute
during the Italian national anthem.
Police chose only to remove the fans and did not arrest them. Italy supporters were also recorded booing during the Israeli national anthem ‘Hatikva’, with several seen taunting religious Jewish fans and spitting at them.
"The Israeli Football Association will send the photos to the Italian federation with which we have a warm and brave relationship so that it can find and prosecute the sickening minority that wanted to tarnish the visiting fans, their team and their country," read an IFA statement.
Italian Football Federation President Carlo Tavecchio called on the Israeli ambassador to Italy, Francesco Maria Talo, to condemn the incident, saying that he hopes "the relevant authorities can determine as soon as possible what happened and identify those responsible." Allon Sinai contributed to this report.
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