Hapoel Ramat Gan and Bnei Lod were each deducted three points and had their
squads decimated by suspensions on Tuesday following their involvement in last
Friday’s infamous on-field brawl.
A violent free-for-all at the end of
the National League match between the two teams at Winter Stadium prompted
Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon to cancel the rest of the
weekend’s league fixtures and on Tuesday the IFA’s disciplinary court severely
punished all involved.
Besides seeing their hopes of promotion to the
Premier League suffer significantly due to the three-point deduction, Ramat Gan
had seven players suspended between three and seven matches, while Lod had five
players banned for between two and five games, as well as losing coach Sliman
Azabarga for eight months and assistant coach Mustafa Wahidi for five months,
not including the offseason.
Despite being singled out as the instigator
to the fight by referee Meir Levy, Lod’s Yakir Shina was suspended for just two
His teammates Amer Mansour, Yosef Azabarga, Mohamed Azabarga and
Brazilian Heverton Cesar were all handed five-match bans, all to be served in
Ramat Gan’s Adrian Fernandez faces the longest suspension
among players after being sentenced to sit out seven matches, while his
teammates Lior Asulin and Tamir Ben-Ami will miss six games, with Oz Yifrah,
Yogev Ben-Simon and Eliyahu Levy to be out for five encounters and Tal Hen to
Both clubs, who were also fined NIS 40,000, intend to appeal
“We will appeal and if our sentence is not reduced I will
shut down the club,” threatened Lod chairman Abu Subhi. “This is a corrupt
This is a disgrace to Israeli soccer and we are only being
treated this way because we are an Arab club.”
Following the sentencing,
Lod remains in first position in the National League, but now only leads
second-placed Maccabi Herzliya on goal difference with three more matches
remaining in the season.
Ramat Gan dropped to third, three points behind
the top two.
Only the league champion will gain promotion to the
A day after the IFA High Court reversed its previous decision
and chose to deduct three points from Maccabi Petah Tikva’s total this season
rather than the next, owner Amos Luzon announced that he is leaving the
A special five-man panel unanimously overturned last week’s ruling
against Petah Tikva for its part in an on-field brawl that followed its match
against Hapoel Haifa last month, resulting in Petah Tikva dropping six points
behind Hapoel Beersheba and safety with just four matches to play in the season.