Israeli Soccer Team Fined for 'Shoah Slogans' Against Rival's Supporters

Hapoel Tel Aviv says chants of 'Shoah for Maccabi' are a general expression of 'deep hatred'

A scuffle between players during the derby between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Petah Tikva on Monday, January 14, 2019.
Nir Keidar

The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team was fined 25,000 shekels ($6,800) after its supporters chanted “Holocaust songs” against fans of hometown rival Maccabi Tel Aviv during a derby on Monday, as well as throwing objects onto the field. 

The disciplinary judge adjuticating the incident harshly criticized the team’s management and said a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center in Jerusalem could be beneficial to its supporters.

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The spokesman for Hapoel Tel Aviv, Erez Naaman, said this was an isolated incident and was not at all as severe as described by the Soccer Association observer. “This does not mean the Holocaust in the meaning of the attack on the Jewish people but as an expression of deep hatred,” he said. “It's a call for the destruction and devastation of the rival team,” said Naaman. According to Naaman, all in all, the game went off extremely well.

As for the throwing of objects onto the playing field, the judge recommended to the team’s management to meet with the security officials for other teams, such as Maccabi Haifa, to learn how to prevent such incidents in the future.