Shechter faces German anti-Semitism; Hap Haifa tops Sakhnin

Kaiserslautern spokesman Christian Gruber says around five fans, of over 100 in attendance, chanted anti-Semitic slogans

ISRAEL STRIKER Itay Shechter 390 (R) (photo credit: Reuter)
ISRAEL STRIKER Itay Shechter 390 (R)
(photo credit: Reuter)
Israel striker Itay Shechter was the target of Nazi salutes from fans of his own team Kaiserslautern during the German club’s training session on Sunday.
Kaiserslautern spokesman Christian Gruber said on Monday that around five fans, of over 100 in attendance, chanted anti-Semitic slogans while attending the session, a day after the struggling side suffered a 4-0 Bundesliga defeat at Mainz.
Shechter did not notice the incident, but Kaiserslautern informed the police and is looking for witnesses.
“There is no place for racism at Kaiserslautern. We will make sure that these guys are punished,” Kaiserslautern president Stefan Kuntz said.
“They are members of the hooligan scene who have been previously convicted and serve stadium bans,” Gruber added.
Shechter, who joined Kaiserslautern from Hapoel Tel Aviv on a four-year contract last summer, was not called up for Israel’s international friendly against Ukraine on Wednesday as he’s recovering from injury.
However, he arrived in Israel on Monday to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child.
Shechter has so far scored three goals in 19 league appearances for Kaiserslautern, which is kept off the bottom of the Bundesliga standings only due to Freiburg’s inferior goal difference.
In Premier League action on Monday, Hapoel Haifa picked up three precious points in the battle against relegation with a 1-0 victory at Bnei Sakhnin.
Haifa took the lead in the eighth minute through the ever-impressive Ali Khatib, with Yuval Avidor doing all the hard work, surging down the left flank and squaring the ball for the midfielder for an easy finish.
Sakhnin, which could have moved up to third place with a win, found itself in real trouble five minutes later when Kostadin Hazurov was sent off following a reckless challenge on Yossi Dora.
However, Haifa striker Vladimir Gluscevic handed the hosts a lifeline in first half stoppage time when he was shown a red card following a tussle with Sakhnin’s Idan Weitzman.
Nevertheless, Haifa comfortably held on for the win, which takes it up to 12th place above Hapoel Beersheba, three points in front of Betar Jerusalem and the relegation zone.
“This is a very significant win for us,” Haifa coach Tal Banin said. “We did what we had to do tonight and I think that we are on the right track.”