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Israeli football association urged to punish team for using rainbow flag as a corner

Joe Williams April 27, 2015

A solicitor in Jerusalem has urged the Israeli football association to put the team on trial – after it replaced a corner flag with a rainbow flag.

Lawyer AItamar Ben-Gvir wrote the letter to the Israeli football association over the weekend, requesting that Jerusalem football team Hapoel Katamon be punished – after the team replaced the traditional corner flags with rainbow ones.

According to Arutz Sheva, he wrote: “It was brought to my attention that in the last soccer match of the Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem team, the team’s management exchanged the corner flag with the ‘pride march’ flag, and even published a picture of it to the media.

“A soccer game is an enjoyment and pastime, and there is no place to bring in a political agenda from the management of any soccer club.

“Therefore… I ask to take steps against the Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem club.”

Although Israel is one of the only countries in the Middle East to embrace LGBT people, the issue has raised controversy in the largely religious city of Jerusalem where the team is based, due to remaining taboos within Orthodox Judaism.

In response to Ben-Gvir’s claims, the team said in a statement: “We at Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem oppose racism and violence since we were established, we are happy to show that in soccer too there is room for everyone, regardless of their background and without irrelevant questions. All are welcome to celebrate our ascent to the national league this Friday at Teddy (Stadium).”

In January, Israel re-drafted its recognition laws, meaning trans people would no longer be forced to undergo surgery to legally change their gender.

 

More: football, gay pride flag, Israel, Israel, Jerusalem, Middle East

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