Fans have rebelled, but decision-makers for a popular Israeli soccer club, Beitar Jerusalem, vow to push forward with plans to bring on board two players of Muslim faith.
The Los Angeles Times reported the two players — Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev, from Chechnya — arrived in Israel to the chants of protesters: “No Entry for Arabs.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres is outraged, according to the Times.
“Racism has struck the Jewish people harder than any other nation in the world,” Mr. Peres reportedly said.
Soccer club managers sensitive to the fans’ backlash initially called for a scheduled match against an Arab team to be played in an empty stadium, the Times continued.
The game was ultimately played before hundreds of spectators — but not until hundreds of police were on hand to keep peace, the paper reported.