Borussia Dortmund have announced that they will play a friendly match in Israel against Israeli Premier League club Maccabi Netanya. In addition, BVB will visit the Holocaust memorial ‘Yad Vashem’.
BVB will travel to Israel from 15 to 18 May after their last Bundesliga match. The delegation will include the entire professional squad, members of the BVB management and a number of members of the BVB legends.
“At the end of this season with all its ups and downs, we are looking forward to an attractive showdown against a top Israeli team. For sure it will be a euphoric atmosphere in the stadium and we as a club would like to make our contribution to an unforgettable evening for many BVB fans in Israel,” said Sebastian Kehl, who takes over as BVB sporting director in July.
“In addition to the friendly match, a visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem is planned. “We have long had strong ties to Israel, so we were particularly pleased when we received the invitation for a friendly match against Maccabi Netanya,” said BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
The announcement was not welcomed uniformly across all media on Monday, in particular the absence of any mention of an exchange with the Palestinian territories or meeting with the Arab Israeli community drew criticism from fans and members of the public, over 2000 critical comments criticising the one-sided nature of the visit were left on the Borussia Dortmund Facebook group post announcing the match. The Borussia Dortmund Facebook page has 15m subscribers and is one of the most popular football social media groups on the internet.
Get German Football News spoke to the editor of Ruhr Nachrichten, Sascha Klaverkamp who said “I understand the concerns especially as the news was announced on Eid a holy festival for Muslims, it could have been handled more carefully, however, we will have to wait and see what is in the whole programme of the visit is revealed, at this stage, we have not been informed of any exchange with the arab community in Israel.”
Avi Waller of Borussia Dortmund’s official fan club called ‘Israelische Borussen’ said ‘we are looking forward to the match, it will be special to see the ‘Schwarz-Gelben’ in Israel a wonderful event for our community and our country.