Sport Football Football team’s name-change honours Trump

Football team’s name-change honours Trump

Donald Trump thumbs up
Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Photo: AP
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An Israeli football team has changed its name to honour Donald Trump after he moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The newly located US embassy opens on Monday (local time), a move that follows President Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

And in a way to say thanks, one of the city’s most popular football teams, Beitar Jerusalem, announced they will now be known as ‘Beitar Trump Jerusalem’.

“For 70 years, Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition,” a club statement read.

“Until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognised Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

“President Trump has shown courage and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status.

“The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honour the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own.

“The chairmen of the club, the owner Eli Tabib and the executive manager Eli Ohana have decided to add to the club’s title the name of the American President who made history.

“From now on, [we] will be called Beitar Trump Jerusalem.

“We have the greatest love for the President and it will win.”

A potential hiccup?

The name change will not be approved until the Jerusalem Football Association reviews it.

And there are more roadblocks facing the club, according to The Jerusalem Post.

“Donald Trump has been a registered trademark in Israel since 2008 and should Beitar try to add it to its name, it may be sued, as it hasn’t received permission to use it,” a report in The Post read.

Who are Beitar Jerusalem?

Beitar are one of the biggest clubs in Israel and are six-time national champions.

Beitar Jerusalem
Beitar are one of the top teams in Israel. Photo: Getty

They have competed in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League over the last two decades and sit second in the table with two matches of the current season to play.

The Times of Israel reported that Beitar “has a long history of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment and is the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player.

“Officials on the team have indicated in the past that it is unofficial policy,” they said.

They also described some of the club’s supporters as “ultra-nationalist” and that 19 members of a fan group called “La-Familia” were charged with attempted murder in 2017.

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