Jordanian Soccer Violence Injures 250 Bedouin and PA Arabs (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) by Chana Ya´ar 12/12/10)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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Fans of two rival Jordanian soccer teams clashed Friday night at the
King Abdullah Stadium in Amman, leaving 250 people injured, including
30 police officers.
The violence underscored the deep divisions between the Hashemite
Kingdom’s native Bedouin clans and those citizens who identify as
Palestinian Authority Arabs, and two major news organizations offered
opposing versions as to how the violence started.
One of the teams, Wehdat, is comprised of and supported by the PA
Arab Jordanians; the other, Faisali, is comprised of and supported by
Jordan’s native Bedouin citizens. Wehdat won the game, beating
Faisali 1-0 in a key match that qualified the team for the national
Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said the incident began when some
of the crowd in the upper seating level began throwing bottles at
fans of the losing team, “who are required by regulations to leave
the stadium first to avoid interaction with fans of the other team,”
according to CNN.
However, Associated Press quoted a witness, Ali Qasrawi, who said
that Faisali’s supporters left the stadium and began hurling bottles
and stones at Wehdat’s supporters from outside the stadium, which
triggered a stampede.
Most of the injuries occurred when a large mental fence separating
spectators from the playing field collapsed, police spokesman Colonel
Ahmed Abu-Hamad told AP.
Many native Jordanians reportedly feel the PA Arab immigrants and
their descendants – some of whom have lived in the country for
generations -- have no real allegiance to the Hashemite Kingdom. For
their part, many PA Arab Jordanians who carry Jordanian passports
complain of discrimination, saying they are barred from upper echelon
The tension between the two populations is long-standing; at last
year’s match between the same teams, Faisali fans even chanted taunts
against the ancestry of Queen Rania, born in a part of Israel claimed
by the PA, and her son Crown Prince Hussein.
According to a diplomatic memo leaked by WikiLeaks, U.S. diplomats
later said they were “puzzled” by King Abdullah II’s lack of response
to the “verbal attack on his family.” The Hashemite clan is of
Bedouin heritage. (© IsraelNN Syndications 12/12/10)
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