Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spanish soccer antisemites 

Spanish soccer fans chant anti-Semitic slogans at Israeli goalkeeper

By Haaretz Staff and Agencies
Wed., December 16, 2009 Kislev 29, 5770

The Spanish soccer federation is set to haul Osasuna before a disciplinary panel this week, after the referee at the team's game against Real Mallorca over the weekend reported that home fans subjected Mallorca's Israeli goalkeeper, Dudu Aouate, to anti-Semitic abuse.

Aouate kept a clean sheet in the game, as his team recorded its first road victory of the season, winning 1-0.

According to referee Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo, "From the 14th minute and on five other occasions in the first half, (anti-Semitic) chants... were directed at the visiting goalkeeper by the home fans behind the goal, every time he touched the ball," the referee said in his match report posted on the Spanish federation Web site. Izquierdo informed the match delegate and a message was put out over the stadium PA system calling for the chants to stop. They were not repeated in the second half.

The fans waved Palestinian flags and also shouted "murderer" at Aouate.

Aouate sounded unfazed by the chanting, telling local media that, "This happens to me every time I play here in Pamplona. It really makes me happy that we won."

This is not the first time that the Israeli 'keeper has been subjected to anti-Semitic taunts by Osasuna fans. In 2006, while playing for Deportivo La Coruna, he also came in for some untoward treatment.

Aouate joined Mallorca last year, when the team was facing relegation. The Israeli international helped Mallorca finish mid-table last season, while this year the team has placed fifth, and is challenging for a top-four Champions League qualification place.

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