An Arab-Israeli soccer player was kicked off the Palestinian national soccer team, on which he had played for years, after an uproar from his own people when he signed with an Israeli team on Sunday.
Signing with an Israeli soccer league is an amazing opportunity for Abdallah Jabar, 27. But news of his contract evoked immediate and nasty comments from Arabs on social media and an announcement he will be kicked off the Palestine national team.
“People went mad, they really went mad,” Jabar told Channel 13. “As an Arab Israeli, I am amazed. Over there, they say we aren’t really Palestinians and here they say we aren’t really Israelis.”
Jabar, who is an Israeli citizen, signed with Israel’s local team Hapoel Hadera on Sunday.
He had previously played with Israeli teams, but decided to move to the Palestinian league in 2013 where he played in international matches and won awards as part of the Palestine national team. However, the team bans its players from Israeli leagues, which means he was cut from the team once he signed with Hapoel.
Ironically, Jabar is not concerned about racism from Israeli soccer fans.
“I have no problem, I played in derby matches in the Palestinian league, and that is just as bad,” he said.
There are currently three other Israeli Arabs on the Palestine national team.
Photo: Youtube Screenshot