Hapoel Tel Aviv dropped two places to fourth position in the Premier League
standings on Sunday after being deducted three points by the Israel Football
Association’s disciplinary court for the violent behavior of its fans in last
week’s derby defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Bloomfield Stadium looked more
like a war zone than a soccer arena in the aftermath of last Monday’s 1-0 derby
loss, Hapoel’s first in four years, with Hapoel fans hurling flag poles and
anything else they possibly could onto the pitch.
Referee Menashe Mashiah
and his team were stranded on the pitch for over 15 minutes together with
Maccabi players, with police eventually arresting 24 Hapoel supporters, with one
Maccabi fan spending the night in hospital after being hit by a flare fired from
outside the stadium.
The IFA court found Hapoel guilty on Sunday of
unsporting conduct, unruly fan behavior and the entering of fans onto the field
It sentenced the Reds to host three matches in front of empty
stands, the closure of gates 4-5 at Bloomfield until the end of the season and a
NIS 40,000 fine, as well as deducting it three points.
As a result,
Hapoel dropped to 45 points on the season and fell behind both Ashdod SC and
Bnei Sakhnin in the standings ahead of Monday’s visit to Maccabi
Hapoel players Avihai Yadin and Salim Toama, who were both sent
off in stoppage time last week, were also handed severe sentences on Sunday for
their part in the derby unrest.
Yadin was suspended an unprecedented 12
matches after being found guilty of insulating the referee and disorderly
conduct, while Toama will miss six games for similar charges.
appeal this sentence,” an official Hapoel statement read. “This is a much
harsher punishment than we deserved.”
A day after climbing out of the
relegation zone with a 3-2 win at Maccabi Petah Tikva, Betar Jerusalem received
further good news on Sunday when the IFA’s High Court partially accepted its
appeal, reducing its sentence of hosting three matches away from Teddy Stadium
to just one.
Betar was handed the harsh original punishment following fan
trouble in matches against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa and went on to
claim that the IFA courts discriminate against it.
However, the High
Court decided on Sunday to reduce the club’s penalty, sentencing it to host just
one home match 30 kilometers away from Teddy, rather than three, although the
eastern stand in the stadium will remain closed for two more of Betar’s home
“We are happy that the court reduced our punishment and decided
not to hurt Betar and allow it to host its relegation battles at home,” a club
statement read. “We would have liked to host all our matches at Teddy, but we
believe that our fans will come and support us in exemplary fashion in our match
away from Teddy the way they did in Petah Tikva on Saturday.”
Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv jumped to fifth place in the standings with a 2-0 win
over Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield, recording consecutive victories for the first
time in 2012.
Eliran Atar scored his 10th league goal of the season in
the eighth minute to give Maccabi the lead before defender Shiran Yeini doubled
the advantage with a header eight minutes from the break.