On November 4th BBC Sport published a report headlined “Scotland fined for jeering Israel national anthem and ‘inappropriate flag‘”.
Readers of that short report are told that:
“Fifa has fined the Scottish FA more than £8,000 after fans booed the Israeli national anthem at Hampden Park.
The penalty also includes an inappropriate flag on display during Scotland’s World Cup qualifying victory last month. […]
Explaining the breach of Fifa’s disciplinary code article 16, the world governing body said it was due to: “Order and security at matches (disturbance during national anthems, use of objects – flag – to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports event).””
Those seeking to understand what kind of flag it was and why it was deemed “inappropriate” by football’s international governing body might perhaps look back to BBC Sport’s reporting on the October 9th match.
However, the match summary written by BBC Scotland’s Martin Watt makes no mention of either the booing of Israel’s national anthem by Scottish fans or any “inappropriate flag”. The live page produced at the time includes a brief reference to booing but nothing about a flag.
As reported by the Jewish Chronicle, the offending item was in fact a Palestinian flag. BBC audiences however were told nothing of the opportunistic demonstration that was pre-planned by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign with the aim of politicising an international sporting event or of the disrespectful behaviour of some of the crowd.
“Anti-Zionist activism reached fever pitch during the Israel-Scotland World Cup qualifier recently. Twitter lit up. Boorish Scottish fans threw food missiles at Israeli players on the pitch and jeered and heckled when the Hatikvah was played. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) had a lovely day out screaming ‘apartheid’. A touch incongruous that, because one of Israel’s two goals was scored by an Arab-Muslim Israeli, Mu’nas Dabbur.”
In other words, BBC Sport’s opaque report on FIFA’s decision to fine the Scottish Football Association fails to provide its funding public with the information needed to fully understand the story and – not for the first time – whitewashes the agitprop of a fringe group of anti-Israel activists.
DAVID COLLIER ON MEDIA WHITEWASHING OF ANTI-SEMITIC PROTESTERS AT SCOTLAND-ISRAEL MATCH
THE HATE AND EXTREMISM AT THE HEART OF EFFORTS TO MANIPULATE ANOTHER SCOTTISH COUNCIL TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL
BBC SPORT ‘OVERLOOKS’ BDS LINKED AGITPROP IN GLASGOW
BBC NEWS CONTINUES TO IGNORE ANTISEMITISM AT UK ‘PRO-PALESTINIAN’ RALLIES