French footballer threatens to leave Israel amid racist abuse

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-11 23:44:03|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- French defender Antoine Conte has threatened to leave Israel after suffering racist abuse during an Israeli Premier League match against Maccabi Haifa.

Conte, who plays for Beitar Jerusalem, threatened to leave the field of play during Sunday's match in the northern city of Haifa, after local fans taunted him for the color of his skin and made monkey chants.

Following the incident, Conte wrote on Instagram that "I have the impression that it has become normal to emit cries of monkeys in football stadiums to some black players. We are not animals [or] monkeys. It's sad that in 2019 people do this kind of stupidity.

"I really hope the league will take care of that because otherwise I will no longer put my feet here on a soccer pitch."

Israeli Minister of Sports, Miri Regev, said: "I was shocked by the racist behavior, this is a clear red line that leaves Israeli sports in the shadow of events that must not happen."

She added that "the Jewish people cannot sit in silence in the face of racist cries of any kind and should be zero-tolerated and condemned immediately."

The minister demanded that the Israeli Football Association, the IPFL (Israeli Professional Football Leagues) organization and Maccabi Haifa, "severely punish the racist fans and work hard to eliminate such ugly phenomena."

Beitar Jerusalem also demanded punishments, adding that "such events are published all over the world and leave a scar on both Israeli soccer and Antoine's heart."

Conte also received support from French national team and Paris Saint-Germain star Presnel Kimpembe, who shared Conte's post on Instagram.