One of Israel’s most famous soccer clubs has renamed itself Beitar ‘Trump’ Jerusalem in honor of US President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In an announcement made on Facebook Sunday, a day before the official opening of the new embassy, Beitar Jerusalem said it wanted to pay tribute to Trump’s “courageous move.”
In a statement published on Facebook Sunday, the club said, “For 70 years has Jerusalem been awaiting international recognition until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. President Trump has shown courage and true love of the Israeli people and their capital.
“The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honor the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own.”
Beitar, a six-time Israeli league champion, is no stranger to controversy.
The club’s ultras or hardcore fans, known as “La Familia,” routinely chant anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slogans during matches, for which the team has previously been penalized.
Beitar, which has never signed an Arab player, had its offices torched by supporters after signing two Muslim players from Russian League club Terek Grozny, based in Chechnya, in 2013.
Since announcing his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump has become the namesake for a number of subjects in Israel, including parks, streets, and a planned high-speed rail station near the Western Wall in the Old City.
CNN’s Oren Liebermann reported from Jerusalem. James Masters wrote from London.