Hapoel Tel Aviv were
docked three points on Sunday and two leading players received
lengthy bans after unruly scenes at a Premier League match last
Hapoel fans threw missiles at police and security officers
on the pitch after their team lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Maccabi
Tel Aviv in one of the most heated contests in a derby clash
that has been dominated by Hapoel for the past four years.
In the closing stages of the match, with Hapoel players'
tempers fraying, they repeatedly argued with referee Menashe
Mashiah, who eventually sent off Avihai Yadin and Salim Toama.
Both later confronted Mashiah in what he described in his
report as a threatening manner, for which Yadin received a
12-match ban and Toama a six-match one.
"The crowd's behaviour was grave but it was fuelled by events
on the pitch and the behaviour of the players and their
remonstrations against the referee's decisions after he sent off
two players," an Israeli Football Association disciplinary
A Hapoel official said the club would appeal the punishment,
as a result of which they have dropped from second to fourth
place in the Premier League standings, 20 points behind runaway
leaders Kiryat Shmona.
If the punishment stands, it could cost Hapoel a place in
next season's Europa League.
The club were also ordered to play their next three matches
behind closed doors and the stands where the crowd trouble
erupted will remain vacant for the remainder of the season.
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