WATCH: Tel Aviv Soccer Derby Descends Into Chaos

Match between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv called off after fans attack players, security guards.

Moshe Boker
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Tel Aviv derby disrupted by violence.Credit: Sharon Bokov
Moshe Boker

The derby between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer teams was called off Monday evening after fans from both teams broke into the pitch and attacked security guards and other spectators.

The chaos began on the 33rd minute (the score was 1-1), when a Hapoel fan attacked Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eran Zahavi. Zahavi responded with a kick and was shown the second yellow card.

The referee's decision caused an uproar on the pitch: Zahavi refused to step down, and Maccabi's general manager Jordi Cruyff threatened to tell his players to walk.

The game was allowed to continue ten minutes later, but was again stopped when more fans entered the pitch and attacked security guards. Maccabi players were pelted with objects thrown from bleachers.  

"I recommended to the referee that the game be called off," said Eyal Berkowitz, Hapoel's sports manager. "It's not soccer, it's an atmosphere of war."

"I think it's embarrassing, the spectators came to watch a game," said Maccabi coach Pako Ayestaran.