Abu Dhabi Sheikh Buys Stake in Israel’s Beitar Soccer Club

A member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family agreed to buy a 50% stake in Jerusalem’s Beitar soccer club, months after the United Arab Emirates and Israel agreed to normalize relations.

The buyer, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, has committed to invest more than 300 million shekels ($92 million) in the club over the next 10 years, Beitar said on its website on Monday. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, which also includes the business hub of Dubai.

Beitar, which gained notoriety for its hardcore supporters’ chants of “death to Arabs,” said in September it was in talks to secure a “large investment” from the UAE. The club’s owner Moshe Hogeg, who took over in 2018, has sought to stop racist chanting at the stadium.

The money will be used to invest in the club’s infrastructure as well as help purchase players, Beitar said. Bin Khalifa’s son will serve on the board, and will represent him in all matters regarding the soccer club, it said.

“We are marching the club, together, all of us, to a new era of coexistence, aspirations, and brotherhood for the good of the club and our community and Israeli sport,” Hogeg said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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