- Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem is renaming itself to honour President Donald Trump.
- The team wants to recognise Trump’s decision to regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- They now want to be known as Beitar Trump Jerusalem.
- The team has a controversial fanbase called La Familia, who call themself the “most racist” in Israel.
A Jerusalem soccer team is renaming itself after Donald Trump in honour of his decision to move the US embassy to their city.
Beitar Jerusalem is a successful Israeli Premier League side with six national championship titles, seven Israeli Cups, and two Israeli Supercup trophies in its locker room.
But their fanbase has a reputation for racism – which a large number of them seem to embrace.
The club was founded in 1936 by the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement and is renowned for its racist following – and now wants to be known as Beitar Trump Jerusalem.
A statement from the club said: “For 70 years Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognised Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel,”
“President Trump has shown courage and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status. The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honour the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own.
“The chairmen of the club, the owner Eli Tabib, and the executive manager Eli Ohana have decided… the club’s title… from now on will be called Beitar Trump Jerusalem.”
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Beitar Jerusalem is one of the most controversial in Israel because it has a vocal fanbase, known as La Familia, who are a nationalist supporters’ group renowned for a hatred of Arabs. It even prides itself on Beitar Jerusalem being the only team in the country to have never signed an Arab player.
The Jerusalem Post wrote earlier this year that Beitar has faced disciplinary action because of La Familia’s misconduct, which includes fan violence, pitch invasions, and racist chanting.
According to The Guardian, the fans brand themselves the “most racist in the country.”
The announcement follows Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and for his recognition of Jerusalem as the Israel capital – actions that sparked outrage amongst Palestinians and Muslims who regard Jerusalem as its own future capital.