Soccer: UEFA to decide Hapoel TA punishment

Hapoel's supporters lit fire-crackers while celebrating a goal by Brazilian midfielder Abedi.

August 20, 2007 04:02
1 minute read.
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UEFA will on Monday receive the referee's report on the crowd trouble that broke out during Hapoel Tel Aviv's first leg UEFA Cup second qualifying round match against Siroki Brijeg in Bosnia on Thursday. Hapoel's supporters lit fire-crackers while celebrating a goal by Brazilian midfielder Abedi who slotted home for the visiting side after 14 minutes. But the celebrations got out of hand when some firecrackers were thrown on to the pitch and at least one landed in the home fans' section of the ground. The referee stopped the game, which Hapoel eventually won 3-0, for some 20 minutes, leading the players off the pitch, before the decision was made to kick out the Hapoel fans. UEFA will now use the referee's report to determine what punishment Hapoel will be given. The Israeli cup holder will be hoping it receives no more than a fine, but in a worst-case scenario it could face expulsion from the competition, depending on the severity of the referee's report. The Hapoel managment condemned its fans' acts and said: "We will work rigorously to find the fans who misbehaved and make sure they will not enter any of the team's matches at home or abroad." Some of the Hapoel supporters who were ejected from the match blamed the home supporters for provoking the trouble with anti-Semitic chanting. "Disturbances broke out when fans in the Bosnian supporters' section started shouting 'Zieg Heil' and making Nazi salutes," Hapoel supporter Eyal Heled told Army Radio. "One of our fans threw a firecracker into their section and then the Bosnian security forces rushed in and started hitting us indiscriminately," he said.

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