Chile cracks down on Palestino football club's "anti-Israeli" kit
The Chilean football federation has cracked down on a top division team. Not for foul play, but for wearing a shirt that has fashioned its numbers in the shape of the map of Palestine before 1948.
Palestino, a club founded by Palestine's large community in Chile, has worn the kit in three matches, BBC reported.
Instead of the focus being "The Beautiful Game", Israeli organizations were outraged by the kit, complaining that all the land was Palestinian.
According to the BBC, the Chilean federation said it opposed all discrimination - and so made the Santiago-based Palestino club to fork out $1,300 in fines.
The Palestino kit was revealed on the pitch in December and is made up of green, red and black - the colors of the Palestinian flag. It's new kit had replaced the number one with a map of Palestine before the area was partitioned by the United Nations in 1947.
Jewish organisations in Chile complained, BBC reported, but Patrick Kiblisky, wner of first division club Nublense was the one who put forward a formal complaint against Palestino.
"We cannot accept the involvement of football with politics and religion," he said, according to the BBC.
On its Facebook page, Palestino makes clear its views on the Middle East: "For us, free Palestine will always be historical Palestine, nothing less."
According to the BBC's Gideon Long in Santiago, Chile is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities outside the Middle East. Many of them arrived in South America after "Nakba" in 1948.
Palestino football club was founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants in the south of Chile, according to the club's website. It became a professional football team in 1952 and has won the league twice.
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