Top European Jewish Group Urges Action Following Spate of Antisemitic Incidents at Football Matches
Following a spate of recent antisemitic incidents involving football fans in Europe, a top Jewish group is calling for action.
Earlier this week, footage emerged of fans in the Belgian city of Bruges chanting about burning Jews during an August match.
Also, on Wednesday, an Arsenal fan was reportedly ejected from Emirates Stadium in London after making a reference to “gassing Jews” at a contest against Tottenham.
And last week, Chelsea condemned a group of its own fans over an antisemitic chant sung during a road game versus Vidi in Budapest.
In a statement on Thursday, Dr. Moshe Kantor — the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) — commented on those and incidents of late, saying, “It is extremely disturbing that in the 21st century Europeans sing proudly about murdering Jews and glorifying the Nazis.”
“Unfortunately,” he added, “antisemitism in football is getting worse and these hooligans believe they can get away with whatever they like when they go to a football match.”
“We call on all the football authorities, from FIFA, UEFA, and the national football federations around the world to take stricter measures against this antisemitic abuse and use harsher punishments,” Kantor emphasized.
“While all racism and prejudice should be stamped out in football and sport, antisemitic chants seem to have a particularly violent and even genocidal nature to them so should be taken extremely seriously. When people chant about gassing and burning Jews they should be charged under incitement to violence charges and no longer detained for a short while or merely banned from attending matches.”