Fans shout at Betar Jerusalem match 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Police arrested a man outside the practice of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team
on Friday afternoon after he yelled racist comments at a new Muslim player from
The incident is the latest in a series of actions committed by
Beitar supporters who are furious with the team management for signing two
Muslim players from the Chechen team Terek Grozny, defender Dzhabrail Kadiyev,
19, and striker Zaur Sadayev, 23.
On January 26, fans raised an enormous
banner in the stands at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem reading in Hebrew “Beitar
Pure Forever,” referring to the fact they would not welcome Muslim
Fans have also attacked team security guards and thrown rocks at
On February 8, fans torched the management offices in the
team’s practice facility in Bayit Vegan, causing extensive damage to the offices
and destroying memorabilia at the club’s museum.
On Tuesday night, police
arrested four Beitar fans who identify as part of the hardcore supporters group
La Familia in connection with the arson.
Sadayev is injured, but Kadiyev
played his first match with Beitar on Sunday night, a 2-2 home tie against Bnei
Sakhnin during a heavily guarded game with more than 500 police officers and
security guards present.
Kadiyev attracted many cheers of supports, as
well as boos, every time he touched the ball.
“I hope they will
understand that this step was taken and there is no way back [to a team without
Muslims],” Beitar chairman Itzik Kornfein said after the game on
“We will continue with [the Chechen players], we don’t want to go
backward,” said Kornfein, adding that he had been assigned a security detail
following the arson.
More than 30 Beitar fans have been arrested over the
past three weeks in connection with violence and incitement.
other time a Muslim played for the team was in 2005. But Nigerian defender Ndala
Ibrahim soon left after facing hostility from fans.