Businessman Moshe Hogeg makes a surprise announcement that he is selling Beitar Jerusalem, one of Israel’s most famous soccer teams, three years after he bought the club and after a tumultuous time as owner that saw him confront an anti-Arab fanbase and try — and fail — to sell half of it to an Emirati businessman.
In a statement, Hogeg says that after consulting his family during the Rosh Hashanah festival he has decided to immediately leave Beitar and appoint lawyer Itzhak Yunger as a temporary trustee, citing the racist La Familia fan group as the reason.
“Beitar Jerusalem isn’t a business,” he writes. “I and others before me have donated a lot of money to this club for its community. I have never asked for a medal or even a small thank-you. But on the other hand, with all due respect, it is unacceptable for me to donate massive sums every month, almost NIS 120 million ($37.5 million), and that when I enter the stadium to hear nonstop curses against me, my wife and even my children.
“I was never deterred by La Familia. I fought racism and violence without fear, I brought in a Muslim player and never gave up, even today,” he says. “This struggle isn’t stopping and will continue after me.”