Hapoel Jerusalem basketball fans say Spanish police beat them during game
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Hapoel Jerusalem basketball fans say Spanish police beat them during game

Dozens of supporters claim local cops kicked them out of Valencia Eurocup match after making unreasonable seating demands

Hapoel Jerusalem fans cheer during a match, illustrative (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hapoel Jerusalem fans cheer during a match, illustrative (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli basketball fans said they were beaten by Spanish policemen Tuesday night and claimed dozens were ousted from a Eurocup semifinals game between Hapoel Jerusalem and Valencia BC.

Fans said a confrontation broke out with local police in the Valencia arena before the game began, as authorities tried to force the Israelis into a limited seating space at the back end of the stands that did not allow room for everyone.

When fans spread out to other seats, police reportedly confiscated signs and drums held by some of the fans, then forced dozens out of the arena while pushing and beating those who resisted or tried to film them.

Several fans were detained but were later released without charge.

Police claimed fans had ignored their instructions and vandalized seats, and that some had been violent toward police, claims that were denied by those in attendance.

In an official statement Hapoel Jerusalem said it “views the incident with great severity,” though it was not immediately clear whether it was referring to the behavior of fans or police.

Hapoel lost the game 83-68, the first in the semifinals series, and will have a chance to equalize at home on Friday afternoon.

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