Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem is changing its name – to “Beitar Trump Jerusalem”.
The change, in honour of US president Donald Trump, was announced the day before the opening of the controversial new US embassy in the city of Jerusalem.
The embassy’s move from Tel Aviv under the orders of President Trump has angered members of Palestinian and Muslim communities and incited violence in the city, but has been praised as “courageous” by the football club.
In a statement on their official Facebook page, the club said: “For 70 years Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Six-times champions Beitar are backed by a vociferous band of right-wing supporters and are the only leading Israeli club never to have signed an Arab player.
The signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya in 2013 caused uproar, and when one of them Zaur Sadayev, scored on his debut against Netanya, hundreds of Beitar ultras, known as “La Familia”, walked out.
Beitar are currently second in the Israeli Ligat Ha’al, seven points behind leaders Hapoel Be’er Sheva.