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Soccer team Hapoel Tel Aviv fined over fans’ ‘Holocaust’ taunts

Israeli soccer’s governing body issues a fine against premier league side Hapoel Tel Aviv over its supporters’ “Holocaust” taunts at bitter rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Israel Football Association says Hapoel was fined 25,000 shekels ($6,770 or 5,950 euros) for disorderly behavior during a championship match on January 14, when Hapoel fans hurled bottles after a scuffle on the pitch between players from the two teams.

The FA says the Hapoel supporters twice chanted “Holocaust for Maccabi,” a reference to the annihilation of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis.

The association rejected the Hapoel lawyer’s argument that the fans used the Hebrew word “Shoah” in its more general sense of “destruction” without meaning to link it to the genocide of Jews.

Hapoel’s management issued a statement denouncing its supporters’ behavior and “all forms of violence,” without mentioning the offending chants.

Maccabi has won 21 national championships and is currently top of the league table.

Hapoel, straggling in 12th place out of 14 teams, has won 13 championships.

— AFP

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