An Own Goal For The Jew Haters And Israel Haters Of Soccer

You may recall my post on Chilean soccer club Deportivo Palestino and its use of a map of the entire state of Israel to represent the number 1 on its shirts.

This expression of the desire that all the land be palestinian upset the Chilean Jewish community.

Well, I’m happy to report that Palestino has been punished for this reprehensible mix of politics and sport.

palestinoThe Chilean football federation has banned a top division team from using a new shirt that has the number one shaped as the map of Palestine before the creation of Israel.

Palestino, a club founded by the large Palestinian community in Chile, has used the new kit in three matches .

Jewish organisations complained that the design implied that all the land was Palestinian.

The Chilean federation said it opposed any form of discrimination.

It also issued a fine of $1,300 (£800) to the Santiago-based club.

Palestino unveiled the new shirts in December, keeping the club’s traditional colours, matching those of the Palestine flag – red, green and black.

However it replaced the number one by a map of Palestine before the UN voted on the partition of the region in 1947.

Jewish organisations in Chile complained, but it was the owner of first division club Nublense, Patrick Kiblisky, who put forward a formal complaint against Palestino.

“We cannot accept the involvement of football with politics and religion,” he said.

It took several weeks for the football authorities to act and in the meantime the new kit continued to be used.

The federation said it had decided to punish Palestino because it was opposed to “any form of political, religious, sexual, ethnic, social or racial discrimination”.

The club argued that it had used the same design in previous seasons.

On its Facebook page, the club makes clear its views on the Middle East: “For us, free Palestine will always be historical Palestine, nothing less.”

The club has indicated on its Facebook page it will not appeal the decision.

In other soccer news, West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has been charged by the Football Association  over his antisemitic “quenelle” gesture, and faces a long-term ban if found guilty.

Anelka has refused to apologise, claiming that the “quenelle” was a gesture in support of its creator, his friend the French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, who has a record of anti-Semitic comments. However, the FA’s compliance department has spent the last 24 days since the incident in West Bromwich’s game against West Ham investigating the background to the “quenelle” and is convinced that Anelka should be charged under both parts of its rule E3.

The first part of the E3 rule refers to “insulting words or behaviour” and the second part, which carries a minimum five-game ban, covers offences with “reference to any one or more of a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability”.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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