Be­tar to pay the penalty for mis­be­hav­ing fans

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

FOOT­BALL BE­TAR Jerusalem have been handed the sever­est of pun­ish­ments by the Is­rael FA af­ter fans in­vaded the pitch dur­ing their match against Mac­cabi Her­zliya on April 13.

They were lead­ing 1-0 when the match was aban­doned af­ter 86 min­utes af­ter fans poured on to the pitch to cel­e­brate what they thought was their team clinch­ing a sec­ond suc­ces­sive cham­pi­onship.

Her­zliya have been handed a 2-0 tech­ni­cal vic­tory, while Be­tar have been docked two ad­di­tional points, four more points off next sea­son and or­dered to play their next four home games be­hind closed doors.

Be­tar owner Arkady Gay­damak said: “The Is­rael FA dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee is com­pet­ing with our fans to see who is more ir­re­spon­si­ble.” Be­tar has lodged an ap­peal.

The prob­lem with the rul­ing is that while it pun­ishes Be­tar, it re­wards Her­zliya and thus also pun­ishes their rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals.

“The FA Dis­ci­plinary Com­mit­tee are in ef­fect de­cid­ing who goes down and who stays up,” said Moshe Dameo, CEO of bot­tom club Bnei Ye­huda, who would have been only three points be­hind Her­zliya. The points awarded to Her­zliya has lifted them five points clear of sec­ond from bot­tom, Ash­dod, and six clear of Bnei Ye­huda in the two rel­e­ga­tion places. Fol­low­ing the penalty, Be­tar re­main 10 points clear with five games re­main­ing.

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