Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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German Jewish Soccer Team Subjected to Nazi Salutes

A German soccer club has been fined and two of its players subjected to lengthy suspensions following a shocking antisemitic outburst at a youth team match in Berlin.

Players from CFC Hertha 06 assailed their visiting opponents from the German-Jewish club TuS Makkabi Berlin after the match referee blew the final whistle in the Nov. 13 contest between the two sides — which Makkabi won 7-4.

In extraordinary scenes that were documented in a special report by the referee, Ender Apaydin, the Makkabi players were threatened with “cremation” — a reference to the Nazi gas chambers — while Apaydin himself was told that he had been “bought by the Jews,” the Berliner Zeitung news outlet reported on Monday.

According to Apaydin, trouble began when the Makkabi players, who are drawn from many nationalities and ethnicities in the league’s 17-19 age group, attempted take a team photo while standing on the Hertha pitch in front of an Israeli flag. A furious Hertha player approached the group, screaming, “I’ll f*** your country and your flag, you sons of b*****. Take down the flag or I’ll cremate you and your dirty flag, you b******, like the Germans did to you.”

Apaydin said he approached the offending player and showed him a red card dismissing him from the field of play. Under the rules of soccer, red cards can be given after a game for disruptive, unsporting behavior.

The player responding by regaling the referee with insults, accusing him of having been “bought by the Jews.”

Shortly after this altercation, Apaydin’s attention was called to a second incident involving a player who made a Nazi salute in the direction of the Makkabi players and supporters. As Apaydin attempted to follow the player to also show him a red card, he was accosted by several Hertha supporters who attempted to block his path. One woman was heard shouting at the Makkabi players, “Just piss off, you filthy people. There is always stress with you. You always provoke.” Meanwhile, the Makkabi players were hurried out of the stadium to safety.

Apaydin’s report was presented on Friday at a special meeting of the Berlin Football Association that heard from representatives of both clubs. Hertha President Ergün Cakir — whose son was one of the sanctioned players — attempted to shift blame onto Makkabi, claiming that the display of the Israeli flag, which is permitted under stadium rules, was a “provocation.”

Speaking for Makkabi, board member Isaak Last thanked Apaydin for his efforts.

“Not every referee has the courage to write down what he hears and sees on the field when the teams from Berlin’s Jewish sports club play soccer,” Last said.

Both Hertha players were subsequently suspended for two years, while the club was subjected a 1,500 Euro fine and a deduction of three points.