Hap TA to face stiff penalty following violence

Yadin and Toama also set to be suspended multiple matches for fracas,

Violent scenes followed Derby's defeat 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Violent scenes followed Derby's defeat 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv was still trying to come to terms on Tuesday with the violence that followed Monday night’s 1-0 defeat to Maccabi Tel Aviv and its significant repercussions.
Bloomfield Stadium looked more like a war zone than a soccer arena in the aftermath of one of the most heated derby matches in recent memory which ended with Hapoel fans hurling onto the pitch anything they could get their hands on.
Referee Menashe Mashiah and his team, who were the main targets, were stranded on the pitch for over 15 minutes together with Maccabi players as the limited police force in the stadium failed to safely escort them into the dressing rooms.
Police arrested 24 Hapoel fans, with one Maccabi supporter spending the night in hospital after being hit by a flare thrown from outside the stadium ahead of the kickoff.
The Israeli Football Association charged Hapoel on Tuesday with unsporting conduct, unruly fan behavior and the entering of fans onto the field of play.
Hapoel players Avihai Yadin and Salim Toama, who were sent off in stoppage time, also face serious consequences, with Yadin being charged with the attempt to bodily harm the referee, insulating the referee and disorderly conduct, while Toama was charged with insulating the referee and disorderly conduct.
Both players were suspended indefinitely by Hapoel on Tuesday.
“The violence began in the 90th minute when Maccabi Tel Aviv player Eliran Atar was hit on the head by a cigarette lighter,” Mashiah wrote in his report to the IFA.
“Yadin and Toama who were supposed to be away from the playing field as they were sent off, raced towards me at the final whistle and Yadin would have assaulted me had he not been stopped by a member of Hapoel’s management.
“I have never seen such disgraceful behavior by a soccer player.”
Hapoel and its players will discover their fate in the IFA’s disciplinary court on Sunday, with the club likely to be deducted points as well as being punished to host several of its home matches away from Bloomfield.
The court is likely to activate the suspended two-point deduction sentence it handed Hapoel in October for unruly behavior and could even decide to increase it.
A hefty fine is also all but guaranteed.
“Police, the judicial system, the media and the IFA need to combine forces to eradicate the violence,” IFA chairman Avi Luzon said on Tuesday.
“We are not far from the day when we will witness the loss of life in a stadium. I call on the fans to stop with their anger towards their opponents. That hurts the game we all love. “Only supporting your team will lead it to the achievements you desire.”