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Irish MP blasts Robbie Keane’s move to Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sinn Féin's Chris Andrews calls it "disappointing" that Keane will manage the "racist and apartheid" Israeli soccer club.

Robbie Keane during an Ireland-Austria match in 2013. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Robbie Keane during an Ireland-Austria match in 2013. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

An Irish politician from the extremist Sinn Féin party has criticized Robbie Keane for accepting a head coaching position with the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team.

“Very very disappointing that Irish Football icon Robbie Keane would sign up with racist and apartheid Israeli club @MaccabitlvBC,” said Chris Andrews, a member of the lower house of the Irish parliament representing Dublin Bay South.

“Keane is in a position to set example and Boycott Apartheid but chose not to!!”

The 42-year-old Keane agreed to a two-year deal with the Israeli Premier League club this week. At Tuesday’s opening press conference he responded to a question about the criticism from Ireland by saying that “I don’t want to get into politics.”

“This is the last time I will say it. I’m here as a football man and someone that loves the game. I will certainly just focus on that but thanks for your question.”

The former Tottenham Hotspur FC and Los Angeles Galaxy striker holds the records for most appearances (146) and most goals (68) with the Republic of Ireland national team.

A 2021 report on antisemitism in Ireland pointed to several prominent Irish politicians, many belonging to the left-wing nationalist Sinn Féin, who support the BDS movement, antisemitic libels and the destruction of Israel.

The report highlighted Andrews, who has taken part in attempts to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, and who said in May 2021—alluding to the 11-day conflict (“Operation Guardian of the Walls”) that month with Hamas—that Israel wanted to “wipe out Palestine.” He went on to call Israel an “apartheid, racist, terror state.”

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