UAE royal Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan buys stake in controversial Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem

Israel's Beitar Jerusalem football club has gained notoriety for never having an Arab player on its roster. Moshe Hogeg, owner of Beitar, said the deal represented “new days of coexistence, achievements and brotherhood.”

The Associated Press December 08, 2020 00:43:39 IST
UAE royal Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan buys stake in controversial Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem

File photo taken in August 2016 shows Beitar Jerusalem fans cheering prior to the UEFA Europa League play-off match against AS Saint-Etienne, at the Itztadion Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. AFP

Jerusalem: Israel's Beitar Jerusalem football club, which has gained notoriety for never having an Arab player on its roster, announced on Monday that an Emirati investor has purchased a 50 percent stake in the team.

The team said that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family, has pledged to invest 300 million shekels, or about $90 million, into the club over the next decade.

In a statement released by the team, Moshe Hogeg, owner of Beitar, said the deal represented “new days of coexistence, achievements and brotherhood.”

Al Nahyan said he was thrilled to be a partner in a “glorious club.” He also referred to Jerusalem as the “the capital of Israel,” despite Palestinian claims to the eastern part of the city.

“I have heard a lot about the change taking place in the club and the way things are going, and I am happy to take part in that,” he said.

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