Hapoel docked points after unruly scenes

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 week.

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 tribunal said.

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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