Betar Jerusalem 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
As if its situation wasn’t bad enough, Betar Jerusalem was deducted two points
by the Israel Football Association’s disciplinary court on Wednesday for its
fans’ racist abuse of Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Toto Tamuz during a Premier League
match between the teams last week.
The disciplinary court decided to
activate the suspended sentence it handed the club in April of last year for the
racist chants shouted by its fans at Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Salim Toama
after it had come to the conclusion that Betar hadn’t done enough to prevent the
calls last week.
Betar chairman Itzik Kornfein asked Judge David Lev to
avoid activating the suspended sentence as the club has been making an effort to
eradicate the racist element of its supporters.
Kornfein also claimed
that there is a group of around 200 supporters who would like to see the team
get relegated and are therefore intentionally looking to harm
However, Lev said that Betar hadn’t done enough to stop the racist
minority and handed the club’s hopes of Premier League survival another
Betar, which was also given a NIS 30,000 fine, was outraged with
“We don’t understand the court’s decision,” Betar
“We can’t believe the court has taken such a decision and punished
a club which has put the fight against racism at the top of its priority
“Betar will act against the fans that are trying to hurt the team
and will file civil lawsuits against anyone who harms the club.”
two-point deduction leaves Betar in 14th place in the standings, but sees it
drop to 15 points, two back of 13th-placed Hapoel Haifa and the same as Hapoel
Betar, which dropped into the relegation zone for the
first time this season following Sunday’s 3-0 humbling loss at Hapoel Haifa,
hosts Maccabi Netanya on Saturday, looking to end its eight-match winless