|Racism in Israeli Soccer Falls 39 Percent|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
NIF's Kick Racism Out of Israeli Soccer campaign has completed its eighth year of activities for the 2010/11 season. NIF's observers reported an impressive 39 percent decline in racist chanting over the season and found that much of this reduction can be explained by a growing and encouraging phenomena – supporters booing and silencing their fellow fans who behave in a racist way.
There was an 18 percent rise in counter-racist actions taken by fans, a direct result of the increased media attention and educational awareness generated by NIF's activities, including legislation outlawing racist behavior in sports stadiums that was promoted by NIF.
Hapoel Haifa had the country's best behaved fans and received the NIF-Israel Football Association Fair Play Award - an event featured prominently in the Israeli media. Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem had the worst behaved fans and were together responsible for 94 percent of racist incidents. However, there were encouraging signs when Beitar chairman Itzik Kornfein launched a personal campaign to combat racism at his club, following severe punishments handed down to Beitar by the Israel Football Association for the racist behavior of its fans.