Beitar Jerusalem has announced that they will no longer play any home games on Shabbat.
The former Israeli champions, who made headlines last season for the racist behaviour of some of their fans, have said that they’ve come to an agreement with Israeli broadcasters which will see them only play matches at the Teddy stadium in Jerusalem, either on Saturday night once Shabbat has gone out, or on weekdays.
Top-flight football in Israel is often played during Shabbat, especially during the summer, and while protests have been made by religious groups, this is the first time a club has taken such action.
Club spokesman Oshri Dudai called the move “a big achievement”, saying: “It was not easy to reach this agreement, but we are trying it out this season.”
A statement on the club’s official website added that “despite the economic risk, [club owner Eli] Tabib preferred to accommodate the crowd and give more sectors of the community the option to come and support the team.”