Argentine Football Association adopts IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

IHRA working definition offers a comprehensive description of anti-Semitism in its various forms.

Elad Benari ,


The Argentine Football Association adopted the definition of anti-Semitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance last Thursday, JTA reported Tuesday.

The AFA governs all soccer activity in Argentina.

A day earlier, the University of Buenos Aires, the country’s most prestigious university, did the same.

“We consider extremely important that UBA and AFA have adopted the definition of anti-Semitism. In the case of soccer, there are lots of precedents of concrete discrimination by religion and by nationality, among others, and this decision represents a tool to fight against hate in our main sport,” Victor Garelic, vice president of the Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA, told JTA.

The IHRA working definition offers a comprehensive description of anti-Semitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, sometimes controversially, the way anti-Semitism relates to the ways criticism of Israel is expressed.

Argentina’s soccer culture has had its share of anti-Semitism controversies in recent years. Fans of the Atlanta team chanted in 2018 about “killing the Jews to make soap,” likely a reference to the unsubstantiated claim that Nazis made soap out of dead Jewish bodies. Earlier this year, a player made an anti-Semitic gesture while leaving the field during a game.

The University of Buenos Aires, which is about to turn 200 years old, has more than 300,000 students spread out into several different schools. Five Nobel laureates and 16 Argentine presidents are among its graduates.

“The adoption of the IHRA definition by UBA will be a beacon for other universities across the entire continent and serve as a bulwark against intolerance and incitement to hatred,” stated Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations.

Earlier this year, Argentina joined a number of countries in adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

Other countries to have adopted the definition include Germany, Britain, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, Canada and Cyprus.