Marzel to attend Betar-Sakhnin match

Extreme right-wing activist plans to spread political material in Doha Stadium.

baruch marzel 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
baruch marzel 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Baruch Marzel of the Jewish National Front, an extreme right-wing political party, and a number of his supporters plan to attend Monday night's Premier League match between Bnei Sakhnin and visiting Betar Jerusalem, according to Army Radio. Marzel's group will spread right-wing propaganda at Doha Stadium for the purpose of incitement, according to the group.
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Last week, English soccer legend John Barnes visited Sakhnin to help kick off the "Kick Racism out of Israeli Football" campaign sponsored by the IFA, the English Football Association and the New Israel Fund. It was announced then that the players of both teams will stand together wearing t-shirts bearing anti-racism slogans before Monday night's match, which will conclude the Premier League's Matchday 24. Bnei Sakhnin captain Abas Suan, who is often the subject of verbal abuse from the Betar supporters, said last week that he was excited by the plans and the campaign. "There is no problem between the players, just between the fans," Suan said. "It is important to involve the players because they can change a lot." Violence broke out at the last Sakhnin-Betar match in the Israeli Arab town, in January. Following a hearing three days after the match, which was a goalless draw, the Israel Football Association fined Sakhnin NIS 50,000 and ordered it to play four homes games in an empty stadium. Betar was fined NIS 75,000. Sakhnin's empty-stadium punishment was later reduced to two matches. In addition to the IFA's response to the events, Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi set up an internal inquiry after fighting broke out between the teams' supporters and police after the final whistle. Betar supporters, who were allowed onto the field after Sakhnin's fans threw stones at them, then vandalized the stadium. At the time, police were criticized for allowing Sakhnin fans to leave the ground before those of Betar. The internal report admitted the police made a number of mistakes. "The central failure that caused the creation of what was defined as the 'domino effect' was actually after the end of the game, with the non-deployment of the police outside the ground to prevent Sakhnin supporters hurling stones at Betar Jerusalem fans," the report said. The report added that not all the necessary operational actions were taken to prevent the violence.