Far-right German group forces cancellation of Mac TA friendly

July 9, 2013 23:44

A bus-load of far-right supporters of German club Energie Cottbus prompted Austrian officials to cancel a friendly match.

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MACCABI TEL AVIV striker Eliran Atar

MACCABI TEL AVIV striker Eliran Atar 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

A bus-load of far-right supporters of German club Energie Cottbus prompted Austrian officials to cancel a friendly match against Maccabi Tel Aviv scheduled for Tirol on Saturday.

Maccabi was set to face Cottbus in the third and final friendly match of its Austrian training camp, but the game was called off after Brandenburg police told local authorities in Tirol that Cottbus fans from the Inferno faction were planning to attend the encounter.

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Earlier this year, Cottbus banned all Inferno members from the Stadion der Freundschaft after racist chanting was heard during a game in Dresden.

At an away match against Hamburg club St. Pauli in 2012, a group of Inferno members held up letters forming the Nazi greeting “Sieg Heil.”

“FC Energie won’t hesitate to protect its reputation and its values with all the means at its disposal,” the club said after banning Inferno members from home and away matches following claims that it wasn’t doing enough against the racist fans.

Instead of playing Cottbus, Tel Aviv beat Austrian second division team FC Liefering 3-2 in a hastily-arranged match, while Cottbus took on Czech first division team Pribram.

Members of the Inferno group attended the game.

Maccabi’s latest signing, Spanish defender Mane, played with the side for the first time against Liefering, with the yellow- and-blue hoping he will be ready to take part in next Wednesday’s Champions League second qualifying round first leg against Gyori ETO in Hungary.

Maccabi will host the return leg at Bloomfield Stadium on July 23.

“We finished a difficult training camp but our work is by no means done,” said coach Paulo Sousa, whose team faced Ashdod SC in a warm-up match on Tuesday and will play Hapoel Rishon Lezion on Thursday.

“We still have two more preseason friendlies before facing our first real test against Gyori.”

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