BAD SPORTS: Country penalized for anti-Israel soccer fans’ disgraceful behavior

Scottish fans booed, waved Palestinian flag during Israeli national anthem.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has been slapped with a fine from world soccer organization FIFA for boorish behavior from its fans during a game last month against team Israel.

The FIFA report specifically mentioned fans booing and jeering while HaTikvah, the Israeli national anthem, was played before the game, and a Palestinian flag waved by fans during the match as violations of its good conduct policy for spectators.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee issued a £8,024 ($10,800) fine to the SFA, citing FIFA Disciplinary Code Article 16, which penalizes fans for breach of “Order and security at matches (disturbance during national anthems, use of objects – flag – to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports event).”

Last month’s World Cup qualifier saw Israel go head-to-head with Scotland in the sold-out Hampden Park arena. But the main highlights of the match, which Scotland won 3-2, was not the fancy footwork of the players.

Rather, a vehement anti-Israel protest outside the stadium and loud boos, jeers, and whistling from the Scottish fans during the Israeli national anthem, emerged as the highlights of the game.

In September, after the match was announced, protesters vandalized the bus ramp to the stadium, writing “Palestinian blood!” and “Free Gaza” in red paint.

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Protesters held Palestinian and Iranian flags, along with signs bearing messages including “Zionism is racism,” “Victory to the Intifada’ and “End Israeli apartheid.”

Scottish supporters also threw objects onto the pitch, including food.

Arab-Israeli player Muanas Dabbur was struck by a piece of pie, which was hurled at him by a Scottish fan after he scored Israel’s second goal of the match.

In one of the more comical moments in the game, the unruffled Dabbur simply picked the pieces of pie off his shorts and began eating them.