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Soccer-Chilean team fined for Palestine-shaped shirt numbers

Reuters

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Chilean first division team Palestino have been fined for using shirt numbers in which the figure one is designed to look like a map of pre-1947 Palestine before the creation of Israel.

The Chilean league's disciplinary tribunal said the decision followed a complaint from Nublense, another first division club.

"The figure one was replaced by a map of the historic Palestine, before the United Nations resolution of Nov. 20 1947 which established a Jewish state and an Arab state," said the complaint by club president Patrick Kiblisky.

"This map, which does not take into account the present state of Israel, is a symbol for the Palestinian people. These circumstances mean that its use constitutes a political matter."

Palestino, who won the Chilean championship in 1955 and 1978, represent the country's Palestinian-descendant community of around 300,000 people.

The league fined the club the equivalent of $441 for each of the games it used the shirts and ordered them to be re-designed.

"The association is removed from religious and political activities, in general, and anything else which does not have a direct relation to its objectives and to sport," said the tribunal in its six-page decision.

"Consequently, the association prohibits any form of political, religious, sexual, ethnic or racial discrimination." (Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Martyn Herman)

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