Maccabi Tel Aviv Fans: Refugees Not Welcome

Soccer fans come out against an initiative to donate some of the team's income to help Syrian refugees.

Dor Blech
Dor Blech
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Fans hold a banner saying 'Refugees not welcome' during a match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Kiryat Shmona, September 12, 2015.
Fans hold a banner saying 'Refugees not welcome' during a match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Kiryat Shmona, September 12, 2015.Credit: 'Kicking Violence and Racism out of the Field' initiative.
Dor Blech
Dor Blech

Some Maccabi Tel Aviv fans expressed disapproval on Saturday of a decision by UEFA to donate some of its proceeds to help Syrian refugees.

According to the decision, the 80 teams competing in the Champions League and Europa League will donate 1 euro per ticket from their first home games.

During a soccer match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Kiryat Shmona, some fans raised a banner saying "Refugees not welcome." The banner was photographed by a member of an initiative called "Kicking Violence and Racism out of the Field" by New Israel Fund.

The banner's positive version – "Refugees Welcome" – is a common site among the fan base of European teams identified with the left, and has become even more popular in recent weeks in light of the refugee crisis. Hapoel Tel Aviv fans have also been "welcoming refugees" since last season.

The Maccabi Tel Aviv Fanatics fan group has announced it was against the donations, saying that a better cause would be to support Israel's poor on the eve of the Jewish New Year.

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