Beitar Jerusalem announce they will rename club after Trump
Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem have announced plans to change the club's name to "Beitar Trump Jerusalem" to recognize the efforts of the "courageous" United States president.
The move comes on the eve of the inauguration of the controversial new U.S. embassy in the city, a move that has angered members of the Palestinian and Muslim communities.
In a statement on their official Facebook page, the club said: "For 70 years Jerusalem has been awaiting international recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
Beitar, who have won the Israeli league six times and played in the Europa League the past three seasons, are backed by a vociferous band of right-wing supporters and are the only leading Israeli club never to have signed an Arab player.
The signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya in 2013 caused uproar, and when one of them, Zaur Sadayev, scored on his debut against Netanya, hundreds of Beitar ultras, known as "La Familia," walked out.
The Jerusalem Post reported the Israel Football Association must approve the change, and also noted that the club may need further permission because "Trump" is a registered trademark in the country.
The statement continued: "President Trump has shown courage, and true love of the Israeli people and their capital, and these days other countries are following his lead in giving Jerusalem its rightful status. The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honor the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own.
"The chairmen of the club, the owner Eli Tabib and the executive manager Eli Ohana have decided to add to the club's title the name of the American President who made history, and from now on will be called Beitar Trump Jerusalem. We have the greatest love for the President, and it will win!"
Beitar are second in the Israeli Ligat Ha'al with two games remaining, seven points behind champions Hapoel Be'er Sheva, and have qualified for the Europa League again next season.
Information from Press Association was used in this report.