UEFA Punish Union Berlin Fans for Racist Behaviour

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UEFA have ordered Bundesliga side Union Berlin to partially close their stadium for their next European fixture and demanded they display a “#NoToRacism” banner in the closed sectors alongside the UEFA logo.

Israeli team Maccabi Haifa were allegedly subjected to incidents of anti-Semitic abuse by Union fans during the match on September 30, 2021 in the Europa Conference League.

Union Berlin issued an apology earlier this month and accepted any need to support authorities in their investigation.

The punishment will be imposed against Feyenoord on November 6.

UEFA Punish Union Berlin Supporters for Racist Behaviour

What Happened?

German-Israeli Society Youth Forum alleged that anti-Semitic threats and insults were subjected to some Maccabi fans and beers being thrown over them.

A photo was also circulated of a Union supporter performing a Nazi salute in the stadium.

Another reported incident involved a German fan stealing and attempting to burn the Israeli flag. They were stopped by police officers.

Fans Overshadowed Historical Match Between Union Berlin and Maccabi Haifa

The match between Union Berlin and Maccabi at Olympiastadion was historically significant. Maccabi were the first Israeli side to visit the stadium that was built by the Nazis for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The tournament was used as a propaganda event to promote racial supremacy and anti-Semitism. They used it to mask Hitler’s real militaristic and expansionist intentions which Europe was keen to appease.

Both sides recognised the importance of the match in the build-up. Maccabi visited the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and Union president Dirk Zingler understood the “very special importance beyond the sporting side for our guests from Haifa and for the Jewish community in Berlin”.

On The Pitch

Union Berlin have had a decent start to the Bundesliga season, sitting in fifth place having just lost the one game.

Though, they sit bottom of their Europa Conference League group with their only win coming in the game against Maccabi Haifa – who are second in the group of four.

 

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