Premier League soccer club Beitar Jerusalem F.C. on Tuesday confirmed a possible investment by a group in the United Arab Emirates, hours before the two countries signed a deal to formalize ties.
The team's owner Moshe Hogeg has received the offer following the normalization agreement announced between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, sources with close knowledge of the affair said.
"This is an opportunity to turn Beitar Jerusalem into a dominant club ... that will represent, in addition to soccer, a concrete symbol of the new winds of peace that are blowing in the Middle East," Beitar said in a statement.
The club gave no details on the prospective deal or investors, other than to identify them as "entrepreneurs from Abu Dhabi."
Hogeg will fly to the UAE capital soon to pursue the negotiations, the Beitar statement said.
The reports of the deal came as a surprise to some regarding the team in question, which is known for its links to the Israeli far-right, and a section of its supporters is synonymous with anti-Arab sentiment among Israeli hardliners.
The club has never fielded an Arab player.
Beitar's hardcore fans, known as "La Familia," court controversy by regularly chanting "death to Arabs" during matches. They have also chanted the name of Yigal Amir, the far-right extremist who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
In 2013, the club's signing of two Muslim players originating from Chechnya sparked tensions and threats of violence. Since buying Beitar in 2018, Hogeg has routinely made efforts to confront and stamp out racism among the fan base.
i24NEWS contributed to this report