In response to fans at soccer games engaging in anti-Semitic activity, such as singing an offensive song about Jews, the European Jewish Congress called on Thursday for professional leagues to take stricter action.
Supporters of the Belgian team Club Brugge were recorded singing a song about Jews “burning.” The supporters sang, “My father was part of a commando, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews because Jews burn the best.”
EJC president Moshe Kantor said “it is extremely disturbing that in the 21st century, Europeans sing proudly about murdering Jews and glorifying the Nazis. Unfortunately, anti-Semitism in football [soccer] is getting worse, and these hooligans believe they can get away with whatever they like when they go to a football match.”
“We call on all the football authorities—from FIFA, UEFA and the national football federations around the world—to take stricter measures against this anti-Semitic abuse and use harsher punishments,” he stressed.
This development comes shortly after fans of British soccer team Chelsea were slammed by the club for anti-Semitic chants at a Europa League game in Budapest.
Additionally, police detained three Chelsea supporters amid reports of anti-Semitic chanting on a train after Sunday’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion.
“While all racism and prejudice should be stamped out in football and sport, anti-Semitic chants seem to have a particularly violent and even genocidal nature to them, and so should be taken extremely seriously,” said Kantor. “When people chant about gassing and burning Jews, they should be charged under incitement to violence charges, and no longer detained for a short while or merely banned from attending matches.”