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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘UEFA’

Belgian Athlete who ‘quenelled’ Banned for 10 Games

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The European governing body of soccer, UEFA, announced the punishment on Tuesday against Omar Rahou, who made the gesture several times at a European Championship match of futsal, a variant of soccer, in January while celebrating scoring a goal for his team, Chatelineau, against Romania in Antwerp, the website of the Dutch Algemeen Dagblad daily reported.

Rahou, 21, may appeal the sanction, which is the minimum punishment for racist abuse at UEFA matches after the organization toughened its disciplinary rules last May.

Last week, England’s Football Association handed Nicolas Anelka, a French striker for the West Bromwich Albion team, a five-match ban for performing the gesture — the minimum penalty the English association reserves for breaches of conduct that are aggravated by racism.

“Even if Anelka and Rahou received only the minimum penalty, that minimum is still significant and serves to dissuade others from imitating this sign of solidarity with anti-Semitism,” Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism, told JTA.

The quenelle was invented by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a French comedian who has multiple convictions for inciting hatred against Jews. Jewish groups said the gesture — which involves folding one arm over one’s chest while pointing downward with the other arm — was offensive and alluding to the Hitler salute. In December, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls called the gesture an “anti-Semitic gesture of hate.”

But Dieudonne said it was neither anti-Semitic nor Nazi, but merely anti-establishment.

Dieudonne also invented the term Shoananas, a mashup of the Hebrew word for the Holocaust and the French word for pineapple, which is believed to have been designed to mock the Holocaust or suggest it never happened without violating French laws against hate speech.

NBA’s Tony Parker Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Salute

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

National Basketball Association star Tony Parker has apologized for performing an anti-Semitic salute after a three-year-old photo was published in the French media.

The photo shows Parker, who was born in Belgium and is French by nationality, performing the quenelle salute earlier this year standing next to the gesture’s founder, anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne Mlaba Mlaba, backstage at a theatre in France.

The quenelle is a quasi-Nazi salute designed to circumvent France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League had called on Parker, who plays point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, to apologize for performing the salute.

“While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it,” Parker said in a statement released late Monday by Parker’s team, the San Antonio Spurs.

“When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act, and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions,” Parker said in the statement.

The ADL praised Parker’s apology. “We call on those who have posed with the quenelle to follow Parker’s lead and stop using it. Responsible public figures should condemn those who use a gesture which was created to express anti-Semitism,” the ADL said in a statement.

Reports of the Parker salute came a day after soccer player Nicolas Anelka, a French national playing for Britain’s West Bromwich Albion soccer team, was roundly condemned for performing the salute during a match on Saturday. Britain’s Football Association has launched an investigation of the Anelka incident.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the Football Association and the UEFA, the governing body of European football, European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor called for a fight against anti-Semitism in football, especially in the wake of the Anelka salute.

“At the European Jewish Congress, we regularly receive reports of attacks on Jews, whether verbal or physical, which also include acts of anti-Semitism at matches involving English and European football clubs,” Kantor wrote in letters to Greg Dyke, chairman of The Football Association and Michel Platini, president of UEFA. “Mr. Anelka’s recent action is a reminder that hatred of Jews in the stands can very easily find its way right on to the pitch. Similarly, the legitimization of anti-Semitic acts by players who are supposed to act as role models for youth is a particularly dangerous phenomenon, and one that is not restricted to Anelka alone,” Kantor’s letter read.

Kantor and the EJC offered their cooperation to the football associations to help fight anti-Semitism.

Egyptian Agreed to Play in Israel for Swiss Soccer Squad

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

An Egyptian player for a Swiss soccer team agreed to travel to Israel for a qualifying match after first refusing for political reasons.

Mohamed Salah joined the Football Club Basel for its UEFA Champions League qualifying game against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening. Salah, 21, reportedly changed his mind after meeting with team officials. He has been under pressure from his fellow countrymen to boycott the match.

“I will fly to Israel,” he said in a statement. “Football is more important than politics and it is my job.

“In my thoughts I am going to play in Palestine and not Israel, and I am also going to score and win there. The Zionist flag won’t be shown in the Champions League.”

In the first match between the two teams, which Basel won 1-0, Salah avoided shaking hands with members of the Israeli team, which includes Israeli-Arabs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-agreed-to-play-in-israel-for-swiss-soccer-squad/2013/08/07/

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