Malaysian fans shout abuse at Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun

By Jennifer Lipman, July 22, 2011
Yossi Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun faced jeers and abuse from the crowds at a match in Kuala Lumpur this week, when he became the first Israeli footballer in years to play in Malaysia, a mostly Muslim country.

Benayoun helped secure Chelsea a 1-0 victory over the Malaysian XI team in Thursday's pre-season match.

But the midfielder was booed whenever he touched the ball by many of the 85,000 fans in the stadium during the first half, before being substituted at half-time.

Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel, and this week a national paper connected to the Malaysian government printed an article accusing "foreign Jewish groups" of undermining the country.

Benayoun still made it further than his fellow Israeli player Tal Ben Haim, who along with Avram Grant was denied a visa before a scheduled Chelsea match in Malaysia in 2008.

Last updated: 10:37am, July 22 2011