IFA to decide on Betar J'lem appeal in coming days

Prosecutor claims team deserves to be punished heavily after fans storm playing field.

betar riot 224  (photo credit: Channel 10)
betar riot 224
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The Israel Football Association High Court will hand out its verdict on Betar Jerusalem's and the IFA's appeals in the next couple of days after hearing the sides arguments on Tuesday. The IFA's prosecutor Shalom Eben-Ezra claimed that the reigning champion deserves to be punished heavily, but that the team's match against Maccabi Herzliya should be replayed and that Herzliya should not be given a technical victory. "We're concerned that the identity of the relegated teams will be decided by this technical victory," Eben-Ezra said. Betar was represented at IFA headquarters at National Stadium in Ramat Gan by Attorney Elad Isenberg. "The match could have been renewed after the fans returned to the stands," Isenberg said. "The punishment for a pitch invasion by the IFA's rules should be to play one home game in front of empty stands. We received a punishment as if we bribed referees and tried to fix matches." The IFA's tribunal decided two weeks ago to deduct two points from Betar's tally this season, and a further four points next season and also gave the team a technical 2-0 loss in its match against Herzliya. The club was also sentenced to play its remaining three home matches of the season against Bnei Yehuda, Maccabi Netanya and Bnei Sakhnin in front of empty stands, as well as the first match at Teddy next season. Betar was leading 1-0 against Herzliya on April 13 when thousands of its fans ran on to the field in the 87th minute of the match to celebrate their team closing in on a second straight league title.