Jewish teen targeted in antisemitic incident during football match

Investigation launched following 'abhorrent' scenes with teen's yarmulke forcibly removed during antisemitic tirade.

Jewish teen targeted in antisemitic incident during football match
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A Jewish teenager was targeted in an 'abhorrent' antisemitic abuse incident during a junior football match.

The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) has initiated an investigation after a player from Ajax Junior Football Club, a Jewish club in St Kilda, reportedly had his yarmulke forcibly removed and was subjected to a series of antisemitic insults during an under-16s match.

Victorian Deputy Liberal leader David Southwick, whose children are players for Ajax, recounted that parents witnessed a confrontation in which an opposing playerknocked the yarmulke off the boy’s headbefore unleashing a tirade of profanities.

The Caulfield MP told 3AW’s Tom Elliott that he refrained from repeating the offensive language, but confirmed the player usedboth the F and C word”.

When questioned about the nature of the abuse, Mr Southwick confirmed it had antisemitic overtones, with the player referring to the Jewish teenager’s skull cap and calling him a "yarmulke wearing c***".

“We should never have this kind of thing happening at kids footy. It's just abhorrent,Mr Southwick stated.

“Footy is a place that brings kids together. It’s a leveller. It should never be about politics and what divides us. We should be putting our differences aside and having fun. And these kids certainly aren’t.”

Highlighting the growing concern, the Jewish MP noted a significant rise in such incidents over the past year.

“This is not the first incident. I've been in discussions with Ajax for a while – my kids play for Ajax – and there's always been racism and antisemitism on the footy field... but we've seen a marked increase since October 7," he explained.

"I've never seen anything like this before. It's one thing to see people attacking Israel, but it’s another when schools and kids on footy fields are targeted.”

He stressed the importance of safety in community sports, questioning, If kids at community sport are kept safe, then where are we going?”

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  • By Avi Yemini

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