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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Soccer team complains over Malaysian anti-semitic abuse

From the BBC:
Chelsea have complained to the Malaysian FA about what they believe was racist abuse directed at Yossi Benayoun during last week's friendly.

The 31-year-old Israeli was jeered each time he touched the ball in a match against a Malaysian XI on 21 July.

Chelsea said: "We believe Yossi was subjected to anti-semitic abuse by a number of supporters at the game.

"Such behaviour is offensive, totally unacceptable and has no place in football," added a club statement.

Agency reports from the match in Kuala Lumpur said the abuse directed at Benayoun - one of the few Israelis to have played in Malaysia, a country which does not recognise Israel - was anti-semitic.
Here is a description of the game by a fan:
I WENT to Bukit Jalil to watch football: A classy EPL football team against a spirited Malaysia team.

Although the match lived up to my expectation, I was shocked at the way Malaysian football fans treated Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun. Not just one or two fans but a vast majority of them!

It’s another black eye for Malaysia. Reports around the world stated “Benayoun Suffers Racial Abuse from Malaysian Fans” (Sky News).

We, in Malaysia, always pride ouselves on racial equality. Then, of all places, a friendly football match, Malaysians reared their ugly side and jeered a class footballer like Benayoun. I am ashamed.

Although I do not support Israel, I support football. I came to watch football.

Benayoun should be applauded for his courageous decision to travel to Malaysia.

EPL and Fifa (and other sporting bodies) would definitely think twice now about sending teams to Malaysia.

Malaysians, we not only lost to Chelsea FC last night, we also lost respect as well.
(h/t aparatchik)