A shirtless fan takes a swing at Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eran Zahavi.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
After a tumultuous few days dominated by violent brawls and their repercussions, the focus returns to the action on the pitch this weekend.
There were calls to suspend Premier League action following the abandonment of Monday’s Tel Aviv derby between Hapoel and Maccabi, including by Hapoel general manager Eyal Berkovic.
The incident began when a drunk Hapoel fan ran onto the pitch to confront Maccabi star Eran Zahavi and escalated in an uncontrollable mess.
However, the league administration insisted that this weekend’s matches should continue as scheduled, claiming that stopping play would be a reward for hooliganism.
Both clubs will face the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary court on Monday and could could receive point deductions, fines and be forced to host matches away from Bloomfield.
Maccabi hosts Maccabi Netanya at Bloomfield on Sunday, with Zahavi to miss the match, serving a one-game suspension for the red card he was shown for defending himself.
Hapoel will also be in action on Sunday, visiting Hapoel Ra’anana.
On Saturday, Maccabi Haifa will look to finally break out of its extended slump when it hosts Hapoel Acre.
Haifa has lost four straight matches, and after admitting over recent weeks that he has considered resigning, coach Aleksandar Stanojevic may well step down should the Greens fail to win once more on Saturday.
After being held to a draw by Beitar Jerusalem on Monday, first-place Ironi Kiryat Shmona will expect to return to winning ways when it visits Hapoel Petah Tikva on Saturday.
Beitar is still undefeated this season, but it has drawn five of seven games, all by a 1-1 scoreline, and will be desperate to pick up three points when it welcomes Hapoel Haifa to Teddy Stadium on Saturday.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Beersheba hosts Ashdod SC. On Monday, Maccabi Petah Tikva visits Bnei Sakhnin.