British youth soccer player facing suspension for anti-Semitic taunts


(JTA) — A player in a British youth soccer league is facing a possible five-match suspension for anti-Semitic taunting in a game.

The Curzon Ashton player in the under-16 league was charged this week with “discrimination on the grounds of religion” by the Football Association, the governing body for soccer in Britain.

Players from Manchester Maccabi said they had endured anti-Jewish taunts and jibes about Palestine in a game against Curzon Ashton earlier this month.

With 10 minutes left in the game and his team losing 9-2, Manchester Maccabi coach Anthony Dennison led the players off the field after an argument between two players drew in other players, coaches and spectators.

Along with charging the player, the Football Association also charged the Curzon Ashton team with a “failure to ensure players/spectators and/or club officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion (aggravated by discrimination),” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

A Manchester Maccabi player was charged as well with discrimination on the grounds of color or race and is facing immediate suspension of at least five matches if found guilty.

The players and team have until Oct. 31 to respond to the charges.

“We’re used to anti-Semitism, we play with the Star of David on our shirts, we wear the kippah, but in the past we’ve had managers apologize profusely and have a word with their players,” Dennison told the Manchester Evening News at the time of the incident. “On this occasion everyone was clapping and laughing at these racist insults, and it was only one or two of their boys who seemed quite embarrassed and apologized to my players.”

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