Soccer fans out of bounds in council protest

Dozens of angry soccer fans brought the Beersheba city council meeting to a halt last week in a stormy protest against Mayor Rubik Danilovich's decision to cancel plans to build a new soccer stadium in the city, reports The fans disrupted the council meeting with noisy outbursts, and, when security guards tried to remove them, broke through barricades, forcing councilors to abandon their meeting until the fans were evicted from the building. According to the report, dozens of fans from the Hapoel Beersheba soccer club turned up at the council meeting and drowned out the councilors' discussions with loud protests. Danilovich warned the fans that if they did not quiet down, they would be removed. When the noise continued, guards began trying to evict the fans, but they broke through the barricades, after which "for some minutes things were out of all control." Afterwards, one unidentified councilor asked, "For these people a new stadium should be built?" The report said Danilovich had decided to cancel plans to build a new stadium, apparently because of financial considerations. Building a new stadium would cost "tens of millions of shekels," and the report said it seemed the city had decided it would be cheaper to renovate the existing Wassermill Stadium instead. A recent survey of Beersheba residents found that the overwhelming majority would prefer the city to renovate the old stadium and upgrade the appearance of the city, rather than dedicating all its funds to the building of a new stadium.