Club calls treatment of Haifa supporters 'intolerable'

The first soccer game involving an Israeli team at the stadium built for the 1936 Olympics hosted by Nazi Germany was marred by antisemitic abuse aimed at the visiting team’s fans, the Associated Press reported.

Union Berlin said Friday it condemned the antisemitic attacks against Maccabi Haifa supporters during the teams’ Europa Conference League game at Berlin’s Olympiastadion the night before, the Associated Press reports.

“Intolerable,” the club said in a statement of the physical and verbal abuse first detailed by members of the youth branch of the local German-Israeli society, who attended the game in a mixed block of fans.

Union president Dirk Zingler apologized for the fans’ actions.

The Junges Forum Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft said they had beer thrown on them and were called “(expletive) Jews” among other insults, and that one Union fan attempted to set alight an Israeli flag taken from a female supporter until he was stopped by civil police.

“There were also Union fans who spoke up against this behavior. We moved to the Maccabi-block to be on the safe side,” the society said.

Of the 23,324 fans attending the game, which Union won 3-0, nearly 1,000 were Maccabi supporters.

The Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism Berlin, or RIAS, said Friday that the atmosphere in Block 13, where the Maccabi fans were located, was already heated before the game, and that visiting fans also faced racist and homophobic slurs as well as the antisemitic abuse.

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