Israel v Italy - World Cup 2018 Qualifier - Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The international soccer governing body FIFA slapped a more than $30,000 fine on Italy’s national soccer team for the anti-Semitic behavior of some of its fans at a match in Haifa.
FIFA fined the Italian team 30,000 Swiss Francs, or about $31,000, for the “improper and discriminatory” behavior of team Italy fans who gave the fascist salute during the playing of the national anthems ahead of the Italy-Israel match held in Haifa on September 5.
“A fine is never good news, but I am very proud to have raised the case on our portal,” said a spokesman for the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, which had first brought attention to the incident on its news website, www.moked.it.
A FIFA committee later this month is set to issue recommendations on whether to allow Israeli teams to play in West Bank venues, following a complaint filed by the Palestinian Football Association, accusing its Israeli counterpart of violating FIFA rules by holding games without permission on the territory of another member group.