'They were shouting 'Sieg Heil''

Hapoel TA fans blame anti-Semitism for crowd trouble during match in Bosnia.

August 17, 2007 08:49
1 minute read.
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Hapoel Tel Aviv supporters who were ejected from Thursday night's soccer match against Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg after throwing firecrackers blamed the home supporters for provoking the trouble with anti-Semitic chanting. The referee stopped the UEFA Cup second qualifying round game at the Pecara stadium for some 20 minutes, leading the players off the pitch, before the decision was made to kick out the Hapoel fans. Hapoel supporter Eyal Heled gave his account of events to Army Radio on Friday: "Disturbances broke out when fans in the Bosnian supporters' section started shouting 'Sieg Heil' and making Nazi salutes. One of our fans then threw a firecracker into their section and then the Bosnian security forces rushed in and started hitting us indiscriminately." However, other Hapoel supporters put the blame squarely at the feet of their fallow fans saying: "They always come to games to get drunk and go wild." The supporters lit the crackers after a first-half goal by Brazilian midfielder Abedi in Hapoel's 3-0 win. Things got out of hand when some firecrackers were thrown onto the pitch and at least one landed in the home fans' section of the ground. The firecrackers set light to several seats in the stadium. The incident marred what had been an impressive opening for Hapoel culminating in the goal which came from a fine passing move. The ball came to Baruch Dego on the left hand side who swept it into the penalty area and the path of the Brazilian who scored with aplomb. Just 10 minutes after the game was restarted Lior Asulin grabbed a second to give Hapoel a 2-0 lead. Barach Dego bent in a fine free kick from outside the penalty area which the Siroki goalkeeper had to dive to the top right hand corner to keep out the goal. Abedi fired in the rebound which Asulin diverted into the back of the net. The third goal was scored by Gavriel Dos Santos on 73 minutes when he headed in a Dego dead ball.

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