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Jewish-Backed Argentine Soccer Team Blasted for Racist Chants

A Jewish-backed professional Argentinian soccer team has been blasted for racist chants against a rival team.

In a letter to the Disciplinary Court Argentine Football Association, the Simon Wiesenthal Center late last week urged the court to take measures against the fans of the Atlanta Football Club, due to their racist chants against Chacarita Juniors.

Fans of Atlanta attacked their rivals with racist chants, calling them “Bolivians who belong in shantytowns go back home” during the August 25 match.

Image by wikicommons

Such incidents already have triggered the intervention of the Argentine National Institute Against Discrimination.

Atlanta is a professional Argentinian soccer club founded in 1904 in the Jewish neighborhood of Villa Crespo. The team is associated with the Jewish community due to the historical support of Jewish fans. Atlanta features several Jewish players as well as several Jewish members of its administrative staff.

“In the past we asked for sanctions for anti-Semitic chants that Atlanta fans received. So now we cannot keep silent when they proffer racist chants against others,” Sergio Widder, the Wiesenthal Center’s director, told JTA.

In 1963, Atlanta became the first Argentine team to visit Israel, where it played and beat the Israel national team.

In February 2000, fans of a rival team greeted the Atlanta team with Nazi flags, and threw soap onto the field while singing “with the Jews we make soap.” The poor behavior led to the national football association establishing rules requiring the referee to end or suspend a match due to racist expressions.

In March 2012, the Wiesenthal Center called on the Argentine Football Association to penalize the Chacarita Juniors due to anti-Semitic chants from its fans. “Chaca is coming along the road, killing the Jews to make soap,” Chacarita’s fans sang repeatedly during a Premier B League match on March 11, 2012.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw. The disciplinary court ruled two weeks ago that Chacarita Juniors would lose the points it had obtained in the match.

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