A football match between a Jewish and Arab university society has been postponed amid claims that the Arab team felt ‘uncomfortable’ playing in the game.
Last night, Hapoel Hyde Park accused members of Leeds ArabSoc FC of ‘blatant antisemitism’ after the apparent snub.
The university Student Union is currently investigating the incident and the Jewish society has filed an additional complaint to the University.
Hapoel Hyde Park were scheduled to play against Leeds ArabSoc FC on Wednesday, November 1, as part of a regularly scheduled fixture.
On Tuesday night, the Hapeol team captain was informed that the match was being ‘postponed’ after ArabSoc approached the league organsiers.
Hapoel Hyde Park (pictured above) accused members of Leeds ArabSoc FC of ‘blatant antisemitism’ after the apparent snub
The Hapeol team posted their official statement on Instagram, claiming they were only told their game was off the night before it was meant to happen
The organisers then contacted Hapoel Hyde Park who were told the game was postponed to ensure both teams felt comfortable playing in the fixture.
In response, Hapoel accused ArabSoc FC of antisemitism, saying: ‘On Wednesday, 1st November, Hapoel Hyde Park was scheduled to play Arab society in the league, as a normal fixture.
‘Unfortunately the night before the game was taking place, we were informed by their captain and the social sport department that they were postponing the game as some of their players felt uncomfortable playing us.
‘To us, this is a blatant act of antisemitism, with players refusing to play against us as the Jewish Society, with these same players happy to play a game at the exact same time and place on that Wednesday.
‘We condemn the actions of these players and are patiently waiting for the Union to conduct their investigation on the matter.
‘In the face of antisemitism, we will not be silent and we will hold those who perpetuate and enable it accountable.’
Captain of the Jewish Society football team Joel Herman and Manager Jasper Van Veen told the Daily Mail: ‘We all feel totally disrespected and let down by the social league for allowing this.
‘And we feel deeply hurt by the members of the Arab Society football team who have refused to play us. We condemn the actions of these players.
‘Leeds Jewish society has nothing to do with the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
‘To us this feels like a blatant act of antisemitism.
‘This is not the first act of antisemitism which has taken place on campus, but it is the most blatant we have seen so far.
‘Jewish students feel threatened and unsafe because university campus feels for many like an extremely hostile place.
‘We seek urgent support and comfort from the Union and the University in these hard times.’
Ex player and manager Jack Isaacs who graduated from Leeds university in 2022 said: ‘I am outraged to see that the ArabSoc has postponed a match with the JSOC.
‘The Hapoel boys just want to play football.
‘Those who have discriminated against this Jewish football team should face consequences, removal from the university and be reported to the police.’
Edward Isaacs, President of the Union of Jewish Students said: ‘It is simply appalling for students to refuse to play a Jewish football team.
‘The boycott of Jewish sports teams was once thought to have been confined to the sewers of history. Enough is enough. Antisemitism cannot continue to overshadow the Jewish student experience.’
A spokesperson for antisemitism charity CST said: ‘This is a blatant act of discrimination that goes directly against the values of diversity and respect that should be at the heart of university life.
‘Campus-related antisemitic incidents have hit record numbers this month, and this example shows just why so many Jewish students feel under attack right now.
‘CST is continuing to support Leeds Jewish Society, as we do all Jewish students around the country, and we expect university authorities to act swiftly and forcefully to show that this will not be tolerated.’
Leeds Student Union said: ‘We are investigating a matter raised about a postponed society league match, and are communicating with the societies involved.
‘This investigation will follow our complaints procedure.
Leeds ArabSoc and the University of Leeds have been contacted for comment.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk