Fury as Arab university football team REFUSES to play Jewish squad in Leeds: 'This is a fight for our values as a country'

​Hapoel Hyde Park/Statement from ​Hapoel Hyde Park

Hapoel Hyde Park was told the night before the game that it was cancelled

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 03/11/2023

- 13:05

Updated: 03/11/2023

- 17:07

Some of the Arab society's players are alleged to have said they felt 'uncomfortable' playing against the Jewish team

A match between Leeds University’s Jewish Football society and the Arab society has been postponed after players in the Arab team refused to play.

The Hapoel Hyde Park team was told the night before the game that it would not be going ahead as some of the Arab society’s players felt “uncomfortable” playing against the Jewish team.

The two teams were scheduled to play as part of a normal fixture in the league on November 1.

Hapoel Hyde Park labelled accused their meant to be opponents of a “blatant act of antisemitism”.

WATCH NOW: Does the UK have an antisemitism problem?

Writing on Instagram, the student football team said: “The night before the game was taking place, we were informed by their captain and the social sport department that they were postponing the game as some of their players felt uncomfortable playing us.

“To us, this is a blatant act of antisemitism, with players refusing to play against us as the Jewish Society, with these same players happy to play a game at the exact same time and place on that Wednesday."

Hapoel Hyde Park said they condemned the actions of the Arab Society’s team and said they are waiting for Leeds University Union to conduct an investigation into the incident.

The post continued: “In the face of antisemitism, we will not be silent and we will hold those who perpetuate and enable it accountable.


\u200bHapoel Hyde Park's statement

Hapoel Hyde Park's statement


“We refuse to be victims and we will rise above the actions of others. No amount of Hatred or discrimination will deter us from our commitment to being a vessel for change.”

Outraged supporters commented below the post.

One said: "Shocking behaviour. Should be kicked out the league!"

Another added: "Shame on them, they know you would have won."

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said: "Last weekend, at least one adolescent football player in London refused to play against a Jewish team. Now a university society at Leeds does the same. This is Britain today: a place where young people have been taught not to play sports with certain other people because of their race.

"The university and the students' union must open an immediate investigation and, if these allegations are made out, there cannot be a place for these students at the institution.

"This is no longer a game. This is a fight for our values as a country."

\u200bLeeds University Union

Leeds University Union, to which both societies belong to


On Monday, a parent refused to allow their child to play in a football game against a Jewish team.

North London based Panthera FC boys under-14s team took the field with only nine players on Sunday for a game against Maccabi Lions after a parent of one member objected to their child playing football with Jews.

An investigation has been launched by the team which could lead to expulsion for the member.

Panthera FC, the team which was down a player, said: “We take reports of these matters very seriously and any incidents will be investigated thoroughly and reported to the authorities where needed. We will not hesitate to take appropriate action, including removal from our club. Our priority is to create an environment where every child can thrive, where the richness of diversity is celebrated and where prejudice has no place.

“If you, as parents, harbour prejudice of any kind that could affect your child’s experience or our culture of inclusivity, then we must be honest – this may not be the right club for you."

GB News has contacted Leeds Arab Society and Leeds University Union for comment.

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