Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration) iStock

Following an investigation into allegations that FC Union Berlin fans shouted anti-Semitic insults at fans of Maccabi Haifa during a Conference League soccer match in Berlin, the UEFA, the governing soccer authority in Europe, announced disciplinary measures on Friday.

Union Berlin’s 3-0 defeat of Maccabi Haifa was the scene of ugly anti-Semitic behavior, with Maccabi fans targeted with abuse by some of Union’s supporters.

The youth division (“Junges Forum”) of the German-Israeli Society (“Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft” or JuFo DIG) had reported that Union Berlin fans threw beer on Maccabi Haifa fans and called them "f***** Jews.”

Policer also restrained another Union Berlin fan who was attempting to burn one of their Israeli flags.

After the incidents occurred, the UEFA said in a statement that an “ethics and disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential discriminatory incidents.”

According to the European Jewish Congress, police were also investigating the fans for incitement, including the Union supporter who tried to burn the Israeli flag and another who repeatedly yelled “Sieg Heil.”

The UEFA said it will implement two disciplinary actions.

A “partial stadium closure” of FC Union Berlin stadium will occur in “sectors 13 and 14 where the home supporters are seated” during the team’s next home competition match as a penalty “for the racist behaviour of its supporters.”

Also, Union Berlin has been ordered to “implement the following directive in the next UEFA competition match in which it will play as host club: to display a banner with the wording “#NoToRacism”, with the UEFA logo on it, in the relevant closed sectors.”

Union Berlin plays at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the venue which was originally constructed for the 1936 Olympics hosted by the Nazis.

The Fare network, a European group dedicated to countering discrimination in EU soccer, tweeted: “In Berlin where Union played Maccabi Haifa… eye witnesses were shocked by the levels of anti-Semitism.”

They also posted a photo of fans making Nazi salutes and what appears to be one of the same fans giving the photographer the middle finger, stating: “This man made nazi salutes towards the Maccabi fans and abused those who called him out.”

However, JuFO DIG pointed out that some Union fans interjected in an attempt to stop the anti-Semitic behavior.

“There were also Union fans who spoke out against this behavior. To be on the safe side, we switched to the Maccabi block,” the group said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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