The Israeli Football Association has instructed referees to yellow-card players who put on kippot to celebrate goals.
The directive comes after Hapoel Akko striker Guy Dayan was shown a yellow card on Saturday for pulling a kippah out of his sock and donning it on scoring in the 3-1 win over Hapoel Ra’anana in Ligat Ha’Al. He did the same three weeks ago after scoring but was not yellow-carded.
The Israel FA directive said: “In view of the many different religions and sensitivities of various population groups in our region and to prevent unnecessary provocation and inciting of passions, putting on a kippah after scoring will result in a yellow card.”
Akko is a mixed Jewish-Arab city and, like most Israeli teams, has Jewish, Muslim and Christian players. Notably absent from the directive, however, was any reference to Christian players who cross themselves and Muslim players who prostrate themselves in prayer after scoring.
Three years ago, many Jews complained to Uefa after Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Itay Shechter received a yellow card for donning a kippah to celebrate a goal against Red Bull Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier in Austria.