High alert as Betar set to host Sakhnin

After receiving moral support, Betar Jerusalem finally given the help it really needs in its fight against racism.

Betar Jerusalem fans 390 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Betar Jerusalem fans 390
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
After receiving moral support from all quarters, Betar Jerusalem was finally given the help it really needs in its fight against racism on Thursday, with Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat transferring the club NIS 200,000.
Livnat also requested from the Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, to assist Betar by reducing the cost of policing Sunday’s potentially volatile showdown against Bnei Sakhnin at Teddy Stadium.
Police will be on high-alert for Sunday’s match following Betar’s recent struggle against a racist group of its fans, numbering several hundreds, who have been protesting against the signings of Chechen Muslims Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev.
“We want to prove to everyone that we have the best fans in the country,” said Betar goalkeeper Ariel Harush, who was received with boos every time he touched the ball in Sunday’s defeat to Ramat Hasharon after he defied the racists and spoke out against their treatment of Kadiyev and Sadayev on his Facebook page. “We don’t care about the political rivalry against Sakhnin. We want to get back to winning ways.”
Maccabi Haifa enters Saturday’s match against Hapoel Ramat Hasharon at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium still perplexed by its 2-0 defeat to Bnei Yehuda on Sunday, its first loss under coach Arik Benado.
The Greens had gone unbeaten in 11 matches, winning nine of their past 10, since Benado replaced the sacked Reuven Atar, and they thoroughly dominated Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield Stadium.
However, Haifa failed to find the back of the net while the hosts capitalized on their chances and handed Benado his first defeat as a coach.
Despite the loss, Benado did his best to remain upbeat, insisting that should his team continue to display such form it has got a “bright future” ahead of it.
With league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv not hosting Hapoel Tel Aviv in a mouthwatering derby showdown until Monday night, Haifa can close back to within five points of the summit with a win over Ramat Hasharon on Saturday.
Ramat Hasharon was hoping for no more than Premier League survival at the start of the season, but it has surged up the standings in recent months, climbing up to fourth place with a 1-0 win over Betar Jerusalem on Sunday, its sixth victory in its past eight games.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Beersheba hosts rock-bottom Hapoel Acre, Bnei Yehuda visits Maccabi Netanya, Ashdod SC welcomes Hapoel Haifa and Ironi Kiryat Shmona faces Hapoel Ramat Gan.