Sunday evening’s soccer encounter between Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Netanya ended in a 1-1 draw, but the event was again overshadowed by a blunt show of racism by hundreds of Beitar fans.
Considering Beitar’s dire recent form in the Premier League – four losses and a draw in the last five games – one could believe that that the home fans would be overjoyed when their team scored in the 48th minute. After a weak first half from the hosts, Avi Rikan sent a delicious through ball which cut through the Netanya defense, finding Chechen forward Zaur Sadayev, who controlled the ball with his chest and sweetly struck home from inside the box. While most Beitar fans and players celebrated the goal, some 300 fans walked out in disgust.
Update: See also “‘It’s not racism. The Muslim players just shouldn’t be here’: Beitar Jerusalem fans walk out over signing of two Muslim Chechen players”, Independent, 4 March 2013