Arson attack highlights racism in Israeli soccer
JERUSALEM – An apparent arson attack Friday on the offices of leading Israeli soccer club Beitar Jerusalem has put a spotlight on longstanding concerns over growing anti-Arab racism among the nation's soccer fans.
The fire, which destroyed historic trophies and mementos, comes after the team broke with its unofficial tradition and signed two Muslim players from Chechnya, enraging its most xenophobic fan-base that has a history of chanting anti-Islam slurs at games.
The incident drew immediate rebukes and promises of a crackdown by authorities ahead of a charged home game against an Arab team that will likely be the debut match for one of the new Muslim players.
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