Violence levels in Israeli soccer drop significantly

According to the report, overall violence dropped by 33 percent compared to the previous season, with racial chanting down 23%.

May 31, 2009 07:26
1 minute read.
Violence levels in Israeli soccer drop significantly

betar fans 248.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])


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For a second straight season violence in Israeli soccer has significantly decreased, a report by the New Israel Fund will reveal on Sunday. According to the report, overall violence dropped by 33 percent compared to the previous season, with racial chanting down 23%. The use of firecrackers and smoke grenades dropped by 83%, with incidents of abuse towards black players down 38%. Maccabi Haifa fans finished top of the fair play standings measuring racism and violence, with Betar Jerusalem supporters ending the season rock-bottom for a fifth straight year. Approximately 69% of all racist incidents were committed by Betar (45%) and Maccabi Tel Aviv fans (24%). Bnei Yehuda supporters received special recognition in the report following a 66% drop in violent and racist calls in their matches compared to last season. Bnei Sakhnin and Betar goalkeepers, Meir Cohen and Tvrtko Kale, were also recognized for calling out their fans for their racist behavior. The New Israel Fund has also announced that it will turn to the authorities requesting to prosecute Betar players who were caught singing racist songs with their fans during the State Cup celebrations at Teddy Stadium on Tuesday night. Israel national team striker Amit Ben-Shushan was caught on camera by Channel 2 news chanting the words: "I hate Salim Toama, I hate all the Arabs." Ben-Shushan, who has played alongside Toama on the national team, was reported to have telephoned the Standard Liege midfielder to apologize.

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