All of the controversy that was swirling around Beitar Jerusalem seemed to be put to rest last night as the game went off with no problems. No problems, well at least on the Beitar Jerusalem side of the Stadium.
Sorry folks, there were no anti-Muslim chants from Beitar, no violence from Beitar fans, no racism was found amongst the Beitar camp.
The only provocation that went down at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem was from the Maccabi Um el Fahm fans and from MK Ahmed Tibi.
Beitar Jerusalem came into this State Cup match on a very, very short leash from the Israel Football Association after the happenings this past Saturday night at the match against Bnei Yehuda, and the potential signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya.
Knowing that the seeds were sown already by the IFA, FIFA & UEFA, as Beitar management were walking on eggshells praying that the fans would not cause any damage to the club, 2,000 Um el Fahm fans made their way to Israel’s Capital, Jerusalem to not only cheer on their squad but to incite and provoke the Beitar fans into doing something that would damage their franchise, their fans and anyone associated with them.
Um el Fahm fans attempted to enter the stadium with the PLO flag and were turned away. Some were arrested and others were able to unfurl a flag during the match and were promptly ejected.
While on the Beitar side, security was petrified to let in Israeli flags as they were scared it would provoke the Um el Fahm fans! Can you imagine, not being allowed to bring a flag in as support to the country we live for, die for and love with all of hearts! Now that is what should be called provocation!
But it gets better. When Beitar fans sang Hatikva, the Israeli National Anthem the Um el Fahm players ran towards their crowd cheering, others kissed the ground in prayer. This is not provocation?
Um el Fahm supporters sang against songs to Allah, Beitar supporters sang songs to Hashem! At least we were both talking to the same G-d!
But the best answer to all of the problems was Beitar Jerusalem’s 5-0 demolition on the field of play featuring a hat trick by Eran Levy and a brace by Dominik Galvina.
Eran Levy looked like a player possessed from the opening minutes, he knew this time was the time for him to shine under the giant spotlights. And shine he did.
After nearly missing the goal in the opening minutes by the 8th minute it was already 1-0 with more to come as Levy scored on a brilliant free kick to begin the onfield onslaught.
MK Ahmed Tibi entered the stadium to a standing ovation by the Um el Fahm supporters and by boos from the Beitar faithful.
Speaking to Tibi after the match he said, “There was no violence and nothing against the prophet Mohamed (thankfully!) there were very brutal slogans against us during the game.”
It’s nice that MK Tibi felt that way, however we were at the same game and the only provoking chants that I heard came from the away side supporters. And PLO flags as well as players kissing the ground before the match and at halftime aren’t provocations? I surely think so!
MK Tibi continue, “There is a real result if there is intimidation against Beitar with UEFA & FIFA monitoring their racist behavior.” I only wish that UEFA, FIFA, the IFA & MK Tibi would also monitor the Bnei Sakhnin fans when they host Beitar at Doha Stadium in Sakhnin all of these years!
But this is what MK Tibi does best, he knows how to play the race card to his advantage for the world’s media, and unfortunately Israel’s media as well.
It’s easy to hit a man when he’s down and when his hands are tied behind his back and again this is exactly what MK Tibi is an expert at. Yes, let’s intimidate the opposition. Well done, and this is coming from a member of Knesset!
Yisrael Goldschmidt, Arkady Gaydamak’s Beitar Jerusalem representative said to me after the game, “We are cracking down and cracking down hard on the racism. We are fighting it all out. The game went on well & peacefully and this is just the beginning of good things to come, Stand with us.”
Man of the Match Eran Levy on his hat trick said, “That this was the first time for me as a member of a Premier League club and it was a great feeling! We wanted to speak on the field and not off of it.”
Well Eran, you and Beitar, from it’s fans and management did just that.
Congratulations on a job well done!
Let’s hope we can wash the Racism out of sport and have the whole world “Stand with Beitar” as they strive for bigger and better things!