Chilean football club Deportivo Palestino pays tribute to slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Chilean football club Deportivo Palestino pays tribute to slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
2 min read
25 May, 2022
Deportivo Palestino, which was founded by Palestinian immigrants in the South American country in 1920, paid respects to veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
The Chilean football club Deportivo Palestino has regularly shown solidarity with Palestinian causes [Getty]

Chilean football club Deportivo Palestino raised a banner honouring slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh before a local league match earlier this week.

The banner, which was held up before a match against Cobresal, displayed a picture of Abu Akleh in a press vest, her name, as well as her date of birth and the date that she was killed.

Abu Akleh, a veteran journalist with the pan-Arab Al Jazeera network, was killed on 11 May by Israeli forces while covering refugee camp raids in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Her death sent shockwaves across the globe, leading to an outpouring of grief from the Palestinian community and the journalism world.

The picture was uploaded onto the club’s official Instagram page, accompanied with the caption "more than a team, a whole nation", alongside a Palestinian flag emoji.

Club Deportivo Palestino currently plays in Chile’s top flight, the Primera Division, and currently ranks seventh in the league’s table.

The club was founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants in the Chilean city of Osorno, and is currently based in the capital Santiago.

Deportivo Palestino was established as a means to aid with integration and to preserve the country’s Palestinian community- the largest outside of the Arab world. Some 500,000 people are of Palestinian descent, accounting for 2.5 percent of Chile’s population of 18 million people.

The team’s home football kit and badge also reflect the Palestinian national flag- white, red and green.

Deportivo Palestino has regularly displayed solidarity with the Palestinian cause and people, notably during Israel’s violent aggression on Al Aqsa Mosque worshippers, as well as a crackdown on demonstrations against the Sheikh Jarrah expulsions in May last year, where Palestinian families were threatened with forced evictions from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem.

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The club’s players donned black and white keffiyehs- a prolific symbol of Palestinian identity and resistance- before a football match against fellow Primera Division side Colo-Colo.

Deportivo Palestino has also established a football academy in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, as a development space for both boys and girls, and plans to launch a second one in the Gaza Strip later this year.