A huge banner in support of a Beitar Jerusalem fan who set fire to the club’s offices was raised last night by fans during the club’s loss to Maccabi Haifa.
Evyatar Yosef, 21, a member of La Familia, the team’s hardcore fan club known for its racist chants and extreme right-wing views, was sentenced on Sunday to 22 months in prison for torching the club’s offices in February to protest Beitar’s signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya. The contracts of Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev’s were not extended at the end of last season.
The Jerusalem District Court handed a 10-month suspended sentence to Matan Navon, 23, another fan who was also involved in the arson, which caused NIS 140,000 in damage.
A huge banner reading “Evyatar Yosef, love and support” was raised in Kiryat Eliezer stadium last night during the game against Maccabi Haifa.
Following the arson, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “This behavior was shameful. We cannot accept such racist behavior. The Jewish person who has suffered boycotts and expulsions must serve as a ‘light unto the nations.’” Beitar’s official fan club condemned the attack as well, saying, “We are hanging our heads today after the terrible sight of our clubhouse going up in flames, and with it the historic championship cups, jerseys and other valuable items. … The fan club does not view those responsible for the crime as part of Beitar Jerusalem’s family of supporters.”