UEFA hands Hapoel TA 30,000 euro fine

Fans threw firecrackers at Bosnia match earlier this month; management feared expulsion from cup games.

hapoel TA fans 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
hapoel TA fans 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Hapoel Tel Aviv management and fans breathed a huge sigh of relief on Monday afternoon after UEFA fined the club 30,000 euros for the crowd trouble that broke out in Bosnia during the team's UEFA Cup qualifier against Siroki Brijeg on August 16. The match, which was won 3-0 by Hapoel, was stopped for 15 minutes after Tel Aviv's fans threw firecrackers onto the pitch and into the home fans' section of the ground. There was concern at Hapoel that the club could even face expulsion from the competition, but the team got away with a light punishment that will allow it to continue its European campaign this Thursday when it hosts Siroki in the second leg of the second qualifying round at Bloomfield Stadium. "This decision saved our season," Hapoel chairman Moni Harel said. "I was worried we would be expelled from Europe. A heavy punishment could have ruined our season. I hope the fans who caused the trouble understand now how serious their actions were. Hapoel fans proved on Sunday that they can cheer their team without causing trouble."