A university is investigating allegations that a football match between its Jewish and Arab societies was postponed after some players in the Arab team felt uncomfortable playing during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Leeds University’s student union said it was communicating with the societies involved and that the investigation would follow its complaints procedure.
The league match between the institution’s Jewish society, Hapoel Hyde Park, and the Arab Society teams was scheduled to take place on Wednesday. According to Hapoel Hyde Park, the captain of the Arab society’s team informed them of their decision the night before the match was scheduled to take place.
Leeds University Union said on Friday evening: “We are investigating a matter raised about a postponed society league match, and are communicating with the societies involved. This investigation will follow our complaints procedure.
“While it is important to carry out a full investigation, it is also important to stress that antisemitism or Islamophobia have no place on our campus.”
Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, Hapoel Hyde Park’s manager, Jasper van Veen, said he was “devastated” by what had happened, and that the club was encouraging other Jewish sports teams to “support each other and stand up for ourselves”.
Leeds Jewish society’s president, Joel Herman, told the paper: “We all feel totally disrespected and let down by the league for accommodating this … Unfortunately, this is not the first act which has taken place, but this is the most blatant form.”
Herman added that the war in Gaza should have no impact on the Jewish society and that Jewish students in Leeds felt “threatened and unsafe”.
“We seek urgent support and comfort from the union and the university in these hard times,” he said.