Israeli Football Association: New ban on homophobic chants

The two latest incidences of homophobic slurs being sung by fans both targeted Maccabi Netanya Goalkeeper Dani Amos, during matches against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and, most recently, Maccabi Tel Aviv.

THE NEWLY renovated Bloomfield Stadium is now fully operational and the home to Tel Aviv's three top-tier soccer teams, two of which - Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda - will be facing off against one another in Premier League action on Sunday (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
THE NEWLY renovated Bloomfield Stadium is now fully operational and the home to Tel Aviv's three top-tier soccer teams, two of which - Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda - will be facing off against one another in Premier League action on Sunday
(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Following a recent rise in occurrences of fans chanting homophobic slurs at soccer stadiums, the Israeli Football Association [IFA] announced on Sunday a new ban on chants and songs that discriminate against people with different sexual preferences and gender identities.

In a statement, the IFA said that, "the disgusting phenomenon of chants regarding sexual orientation are a disciplinary violation, clear as day," citing that the IFA's guidelines already prohibit "inappropriate audience behavior." 
 
The two latest incidences of homophobic slurs being sung by fans both targeted Maccabi Netanya Goalkeeper Dani Amos, during matches against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and, most recently, Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Though Amos is not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, he has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and a vocal critic of homophobic and racist chants being sung in Israel's football stadiums.

Following the first incident during the game against Kiryat Shmona, Amos told Walla News that "I'm not gay, I'm just fighting for the quiet people who can't talk. It's unfathomable that they try to hurt me with homophobic chants. True, the word 'gay' isn't a slur, but there was an attempt to hurt me and an entire population."
Regarding the state of Israeli Football, Amos said that "our football is dark, and nothing is happening about it. I've asked to have the chants mentioned in the referee's match report. I wish this phenomenon comes to an end soon, it's disgusting. "

After the match against Tel Aviv, Amos said, "I was not surprised by the Maccabi Tel Aviv crowd. Not even a bit." 
"That's their thing, people don't understand who they're really hurting," Amos stated. "I'm glad there are some brave people who decided to point it out in the game report and now the ball is in the hands of the manager. Well done to the Netanya crowd who booed during the chants."