Itay Shechter faces antisemitic jeers at German club

By Jennifer Lipman, March 2, 2012

An Israeli footballer was the victim of antisemitic abuse after fans aimed a Nazi salute at him during a training session.

Itay Shechter, who plays for German side Kaiserslautern, was targeted by up to ten people chanting antisemitic jeers. They also made the Nazi salute, an illegal act under German law.

Mr Shechter, 24, moved to the club from Hapoel Tel Aviv last summer.

The incident was condemned by the German Football Federation, whose incoming president Wolfgang Niersbach said: "Antisemitism and racism should not be allowed to have any place in football.

"We must defend ourselves with all possible means at our disposal and we hope that the authorities pursue the case with all its consequences."

Two years ago, while still with Hapoel, the player found himself at the centre of another controversy on the pitch, when he donned a red kippah during a Champions League match against an Austrian team.

The move was criticised as provocative and the referee gave him a red card, but Hapoel responded by ordering 20,000 similar kippot to give to fans at the second leg match.

Last updated: 2:51pm, March 2 2012