Soccer team Beitar Jerusalem bans reporter over racism row

Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem has banned a left-wing newspaper from its press conferences after it wrote about the club’s perceived anti-Arab stance.

Haaretz daily has been highlighting the lack of diversity at Beitar Jerusalem since last summer, with reporter Dor Blech adding a sentence

to every match report saying they were the only professional club never to have had an Arab player, which he says is “unacceptable”.

Beitar, who have some notoriously ultra-nationalist fans, are currently third in the Israeli premier league. The club confirmed that Blech was banned from the press box for last Monday’s game and would continue to be in the future. Oshri Dudai, spokesman for Beitar, told AFP the allegation repeated in every article was “out of context and not connected to the main issue”. Blech said Haaretz had appealed to the Israeli football association and to league management over the ban, and was starting a legal challenge.



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