Israeli Football Club Renamed 'Beitar Trump Jerusalem' in Honour of Donald Trump

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2018

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 6: The supporters of Beitar Jerusalem wait for the kick-off prior to the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round 2nd leg match between Vasas FC and Beitar Jerusalem at Ferenc Szusza Stadium on July 6, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem have incorporated U.S. President Donald Trump's name into their own ahead of the inauguration of the new American embassy in the city Monday.

The club announced the change on their official Facebook page and Twitter:

According to the Guardian's Tom Lutz, the club said in an accompanying statement:

"For 70 years has Jerusalem been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognised Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

"President Trump has shown courage, and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status. ... The chairmen of the club, the owner Eli Tabib and the executive manager Eli Ohana have decided to add to the club's title the name of the American President who made history, and from now on will be called Beitar Trump Jerusalem."

Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, a decision that received widespread condemnation in the international community. The city is viewed by Palestinians and Muslims worldwide as the capital of their future state, and controlling it is one of the central issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sports journalist Raphael Gellar believes the name change will not be permanent:

Beitar have never signed an Arab player—they're the only club in the Israeli Premier League not to do so—and sections of their fanbase have been known to sing about being racist, with one popular chant being "Death to Arabs."

As such, it's of little surprise the outfit has supported Trump's move to recognise the City as Israel's capital, according to Lutz.

In 2013, fans spat at and verbally abused two Chechen Muslims signed by the club, and the supporters' protest against the signings—who had to be escorted by police to training for their own protection—is believed to have escalated into an arson attack on the team's offices.

Beitar have competed in the UEFA Champions League on five occasions and in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League eight times but have never reached the group stages in either competition.

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