Eli Tabib made the announcement after Thursday night’s away fixture against Charleroi when Beitar fans pelted the ground with flares, hung a racist banner and injured the opposition goalkeeper with a flying object. Beitar is widely expected to be sanctioned by Uefa.
“I am ashamed and shocked by the behaviour of part of the crowd tonight. The whole world watched the horror, this embarrassing horror show, conducted by the same radical group who are not true Beitar fans in my eyes,” Tabib said. “Tonight officially marked the end of my role in Israeli soccer, and specifically with Beitar Jerusalem.”
The team’s sponsor Itrader has said it will reconsider its involvement with the team following the violence at Thursday’s match, which Beitar lost 5-1.
Beitar has never fielded an Arab player, and has a hardcore of nationalist fans with a reputations for anti-Arab chants and violence.
Thursday’s aggression reportedly began when a small group of Charleroi fans began an anti-semitic chant that quickly escalated as Beitar fans threw smoke grenades and flares on to the pitch.
Charleroi’s goalkeeper, Nicolas Penneteau, was injured after being hit in the head by an unidentified object allegedly thrown from the Beitar end.
During the match – in which two Beitar players were sent off – their own goalkeeper, Boris Kleyman, pleaded with fans to stop throwing flares.
Despite playing in a city in which 40% of the population is of Palestinian origin, Beitar has never fielded an Arab player although it once had one on its books in the 1970s.
The club’s refusal to field an Arab player – in breach of Israeli employment legislation – was one of the reasons listed in a withdrawn Palestinian complaint to Fifa this year. The complaint called for the Israel FA’s suspension from the world football body on grounds of discrimination.
Beitar has long had a notorious reputation because of a hardcore hooligan fanbase known as La Familia.
Israel’s minister of sport, Miri Regev, condemned the fans’ behaviour in Belgium. “It’s a shame that the Beitar fans choose to embarrass the whole of Israel soccer, and their team specifically.
“The violent behaviour which included throwing smoke bombs on to the pitch represents a type of wild behaviour which lacks even the slightest respect for anyone working in the sport.
“A small group of Beitar fans hurt the club’s reputation. Their behaviour is unacceptable. I find it right to summon the relevant authorities in order to decide on the matter of the harsh punishment which will follow.”
Regev said security would be tightened when Beitar host Charleroi in the return leg at Jerusalem’s Teddy stadium next week, adding that violent Beitar fans should be banned from attending.
Beitar have the worst disciplinary record in Israel’s Premier League and over the past decade have faced about two dozen hearings and received various punishments, including points deductions, fines and matches behind closed doors.