Argentina’s National Soccer Association Adopts International Antisemitism Definition
Argentina’s national soccer association has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in a bid to toughen its response to anti-Jewish bigotry.
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) adopted the definition — which diagnoses the nature of anti-Jewish hatred and provides various examples of its manifestation — at a meeting last week.
In a statement announcing the move, AFA’s president, Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia, said it was part of a broader initiative “to clearly combat racism, discrimination and antisemitism.”
The AFA also thanked the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) for its guidance over the definition.
The SWC’s international director, Shimon Samuels, said that the AFA’s decision was proof that “football, ‘the beautiful game,’ must build bridges and not be a vector of hate.”
Two-time World Cup winner Argentina — whose roster has included world-class players like Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta and Lionel Messi — is the first national association to have adopted the definition.
Over this year, several of Europe’s leading soccer club sides adopted the definition as well, in a bid to counter rising antisemitism and racism at soccer matches.
Chelsea of the English Premier League signed up to the definition in January, with five other top clubs — West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Burnley, Brighton and Hove Albion — following suit shortly after.
In Germany, Bundesliga powerhouse Borussia Dortmund adopted the definition in February. The club’s chairman, Hans-Joachim Watzke, explained at the time that a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust, had convinced him to do so.