Hapoel Beer Sheva shocked the soccer world this week when they unveiled their new 2020/21 kit which starkly resembled that of the Croatia National Team. The Southern Reds wore the strip for the first time in the State Cup Final against Maccabi Petah Tikva at Bloomfield Stadium to the awe of fans watching at home.
Yossi Abuksis’s squad took the trophy back to the Negev thanks to a 2-0 win in which Portuguese attacking midfielder scored the second goal with a stunner of a strike and assisted on the first marker by winger Ben Sahar.
The new kit made waves across the internet as Croatian loyalists picked up the news about Beer Sheva’s jersey thanks to The Sports Rabbi as the story became a sensation throughout the country and beyond.
Stories appeared in a number of outlets such as Sportske Novosti which ran the following headline: TOTAL THEFT – INCREDIBLY, THEY LOOK IDENTICAL! THEY COPIED THE FAMOUS CROATIAN JERSEY AND WON A BIG TROPHY!
The article began with the following paragraph:
“It’s not nice to copy things. If a literary, artistic work is being transcribed, then it is plagiarism, and this is just … Reckless theft? It can also be called that. The checkered, red and white kit, belongs only to the Croatian national team. Or at least they should only belong to us. However, the new winner of the Israeli Football Cup doesn’t think so.”
Some of the comments included:
“The Israelis have so much history, and yet they steal someone else’s…Zero imagination”
“So they won, why not let the winners wear Croatian brands and products … great advertising!”
“They look good, at the club level no one should be bothered, and at the national team level let them put light blue checkers and that would be fine.”
“Fantastic free advertising, and the whole world KNOWS who plays in red and white checkers!” Well, Barcelona has something similar so let them have it, it’s all free advertising for the biggest brand!
“Let them wear it. When we first played in Europe they told us we looked like tablecloths and now it’s a brand, bravo Croatia.”
On 24 Sata the sentiments were roughly the same as they wrote:
We knew that Croatian footballers had won the hearts of fans all over the world, but now the checkers have become such a hit that whoever begins to be a quality team copies them. The picture from Israel from the Cup final there was almost unbelievable. Eleven guys in the jersey in which Croatia played the finals of the World Cup in Russia. Only it was not worn by Luka Modrić, Mario Mandžukić, Ivan Rakitic, and Ivan Perišić… but by Ben Sahar, Josue, Tomer Yosefi, Ben Bitton…