Cardiff City Football Club has resisted calls to cancel a match against an Israeli team.
The Championship club was petitioned by Red Card Israeli Racism, a group which accuses the Jewish State of “appalling and widespread racism” against Palestinians.
More than 1,800 people signed the online petition, which was promoted by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, urging Cardiff to engage in a “sporting boycott” against Israeli Premier League runners-up Ironi Kiryat Shmona.
Despite this opposition, the pre-season friendly in the Netherlands went ahead on Tuesday, ending in a 2-0 win for Cardiff despite a strong start by the team from northern Israel.
Cardiff’s decision to ignore the anti-Israel campaign was vindication for grassroots group North West Friends of Israel, whose counter-petition received more than 220 signatures.
Anthony Dennison, the organisation’s co-chair, said the decision was “a victory for common sense”.
“Politics should not be brought into football, or any sport for that matter,” he said. “We are delighted that Cardiff City have chosen to ignore the ridiculous notion that not playing an Israeli football team will somehow help the Palestinian people.
“This is part of the BDS’s continued, unwarranted attacks on Israel, which are fuelled by antisemitism rather than a desire to help the Palestinian people caught in a conflict.”
Israel will play a European Championships qualifier against Wales in Cardiff on September 6, after Gareth Bale scored twice to help beat Israel 3-0 in March.
Source: Jewish Chronicle