by Benjamin Brown
Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev sent a letter to the President of Brazilian football club Corinthians thanking the club for its show of solidarity as the Jewish world was set to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht.
The São Paolo club on Wednesday played a league match against Fortaleza EC with a yellow Star of David embroidered above the football club’s logo.
Corinthians had partnered with the São Paulo Holocaust Memorial in order to raise awareness towards anti-Semitism and as a form of remembrance approaching the 81st anniversary of the Kristallnacht.
In her letter to the club, Regev expressed her gratitude, describing the move as “promoting the belief that sports can and should create unity and solidarity between nations”. Regev added that she hoped many would “embrace the exciting campaign against Holocaust denial, hatred, prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism.”
Shirts worn in Wednesday’s game will now be sold at an auction with proceeds going to the Holocaust memorial.
The Corinthians shirt had previously included stars to depict the number of titles won. The stars were removed in 2012, with the club stating that the club was bigger than its titles.
Following the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 in which 11 Jewish worshipers were killed, Corinthians’ players wore the names of the victims on their shirts. The club had partnered with São Paolo’s Jewish community for last year’s show of solidarity.
The Sport Club Corinthians Paulista was founded by São Paolo railway workers in 1910. It is one of Brazil’s most successful football clubs and is estimated to have over 30 million supporters. In 2017, Forbes listed Corinthians as the most valuable football club in the Americas, attributing it a value of over $575 million.