Czech football fans hang up Islamophobic banner during match, team later apologizes
During a football match on 2 August between the Bohemians 1905 and FK Jablonec teams, fans from Jablonec nad Nisou hung up a banner in the stands that insulted Muslims. The provocative caricature depicted a Nordic female carrying a shield inscribed with "Europe" and kicking a pig wearing a turban, who is dropping a copy of the Koran as a result.
FK Jablonec has distanced itself from the banner. "We would like to apologize to all minorities whom that image might have incensed for the undignified behavior of some of our fans," club spokesperson Štěpán Hanuš told news server iDNES.cz.
Police are already investigating the event and the fans are suspected of having committed the crime of inciting hatred against a group of persons and suppressing their rights and freedoms. The banner was originally made for the European League match against Copenhagen, but in an abbreviated, different form.
A UEFA delegate rejected the abbreviated banner just before the European League match began. For the Bohemians-Jablonec match the banner was approved in its original form, but when the fans hung it up, they had modified it in the interim to its fuller and most offensive form.
Some Bohemians 1905 fans, for their part, brought a small sign reading Refugees Welcome (in English) to the match. The Barflies United Facebook community published a photograph of them holding that sign to its own profile.
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