A Chilean football team, once managed by current Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, has become embroiled in a row between the local Palestinian and Jewish communities.
Representatives of the Chilean Jewish community have urged FIFA, football’s world governing body, to take action against Club Deportivo Palestino, claiming their new football top is anti-Israel and offensive.
The number “1” appears on the Santiago-based club’s recently unveiled 2014 kit in the shape of a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories, implying that all the land is Palestinian.
Gabriel Zaliasnik, the former president of Chilean Jewish community (CJC), said: “This act of smugness by the irresponsible mangers of Palestino is offensive to the whole Chilean Jewish community. It’s unprecedented.”
The current head of the CJC, Gerardo Gorodischer, has urged Chile’s football association to ban the shirt. He said: “We reject the import of the Middle East conflict in Chile.”
Chille has officially recognised Palestine as an independent state since 2011, while the country is home to on the largest Palestinian communities in the world. Chile’s Palestinian Federation has backed the club’s choice of the shirt, saying: “The Deportivo Palestino and its symbols have existed in our country since 1920, 28 years before the establishment of a state of Israel in Palestine.”