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UAE royal buys stake in controversial Israeli soccer club

JERUSALEM — Israel's Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, which has gained notoriety for never having an Arab player on its roster, announced on Monday that an Emirati investor has purchased a 50% stake in the team.

The team said that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family, has pledged to invest 300 million shekels, or about $90 million, into the club over the next decade.

In a statement released by the team, Moshe Hogeg, owner of Beitar, said the deal represented “new days of coexistence, achievements and brotherhood.”

Al Nahyan said he was thrilled to be a partner in a “glorious club.” He also referred to Jerusalem as the “the capital of Israel,” despite Palestinian claims to the eastern part of the city.

“I have heard a lot about the change taking place in the club and the way things are going, and I am hapy to take part in that,” he said.

The Associated Press

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