Franco: Betar game had reduced police protection

Jerusalem Police Chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco said Monday afternoon that it had been decided on Sunday morning to significantly reduce the number of police officers present at the Betar Jerusalem-Hapoel Petah Tikva soccer match in which 38 people were injured as thousands of fans charged onto the field of play after the game. Speaking at a press conference, Franco said there had been 200 fewer policemen on hand at the capital's Teddy Stadium than originally expected because of the fact that the game turned out not to be the Betar Jerusalem championship match everyone was expecting, due to Saturday's victory of rival championship contender's Maccabi Tel Aviv. Two fans aged, 14 and 16, remained in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem with serious injuries following the rampage at the stadium, when fans were crushed against the perimeter fencing after Betar's 2-0 victory.