(photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
The Israel Football Association’s High Court ordered to delay the disciplinary action handed down to both Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv following a dramatic hearing on Tuesday.
Hapoel and Maccabi were appealing last week’s court ruling following the abandonment of the derby on November 3 due to fan trouble.
A three-man panel accepted in full the IFA prosecutor’s request last week, deducting two points from both teams, declaring the result of the match as a 0-0 draw from which neither club will receive a point and closing the stands from which the fans burst onto the pitch for four matches.
However, after hearing the clubs arguments on Tuesday, the three-man High Court panel, headed by president Ori Goren, decided to suspend the sentence until it makes its final decision on the matter next Tuesday.
The most likely change in the original verdict will be the reduction or cancellation of the point deductions, with IFA prosecutor Nir Reshef saying on Tuesday that should the High Court choose to intervene, he would recommend it begins with the point deductions.
As a result of Tuesday’s ruling, Hapoel Tel Aviv will be able to host Hapoel Beersheba in front of a full Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday, while Maccabi Tel Aviv will enter Monday’s showdown at Ironi Kiryat Shmona trailing the league leader by just two points rather than four.
During the 33rd minute of the derby at Bloomfield earlier this month, a Hapoel fan jumped out of the stands and ran onto the pitch to confront Maccabi star Eran Zahavi. It took over 10 minutes until the match could be resumed, but it was stopped for good only several seconds later after Maccabi fans also burst onto the field.