After receiving moral support from all quarters, Betar Jerusalem was finally
given the help it really needs in its fight against racism on Thursday, with
Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat transferring the club NIS
Livnat also requested from the Minister of Internal Security,
Yitzhak Aharonovich, to assist Betar by reducing the cost of policing Sunday’s
potentially volatile showdown against Bnei Sakhnin at Teddy
Police will be on high-alert for Sunday’s match following
Betar’s recent struggle against a racist group of its fans, numbering several
hundreds, who have been protesting against the signings of Chechen Muslims
Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev.
“We want to prove to everyone that we
have the best fans in the country,” said Betar goalkeeper Ariel Harush, who was
received with boos every time he touched the ball in Sunday’s defeat to Ramat
Hasharon after he defied the racists and spoke out against their treatment of
Kadiyev and Sadayev on his Facebook page. “We don’t care about the political
rivalry against Sakhnin. We want to get back to winning ways.”
Haifa enters Saturday’s match against Hapoel Ramat Hasharon at Kiryat Eliezer
Stadium still perplexed by its 2-0 defeat to Bnei Yehuda on Sunday, its first
loss under coach Arik Benado.
The Greens had gone unbeaten in 11 matches,
winning nine of their past 10, since Benado replaced the sacked Reuven Atar, and
they thoroughly dominated Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield Stadium.
Haifa failed to find the back of the net while the hosts capitalized on their
chances and handed Benado his first defeat as a coach.
Despite the loss,
Benado did his best to remain upbeat, insisting that should his team continue to
display such form it has got a “bright future” ahead of it.
league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv not hosting Hapoel Tel Aviv in a mouthwatering
derby showdown until Monday night, Haifa can close back to within five points of
the summit with a win over Ramat Hasharon on Saturday.
Ramat Hasharon was
hoping for no more than Premier League survival at the start of the season, but
it has surged up the standings in recent months, climbing up to fourth place
with a 1-0 win over Betar Jerusalem on Sunday, its sixth victory in its past
Also Saturday, Hapoel Beersheba hosts rock-bottom Hapoel
Acre, Bnei Yehuda visits Maccabi Netanya, Ashdod SC welcomes Hapoel Haifa and
Ironi Kiryat Shmona faces Hapoel Ramat Gan.