Tel Aviv soccer derby descends into melee
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Tel Aviv soccer derby descends into melee

Violence starts when Hapoel fan attacks Maccabi player leading to fist-fight between the two

A shirtless fan attacks Maccabi Tel Aviv player Eran Zehavi, November 3, 2014 (Photo credit: Channel 2 News)
A shirtless fan attacks Maccabi Tel Aviv player Eran Zehavi, November 3, 2014 (Photo credit: Channel 2 News)

An Israeli premier league soccer derby on Monday night became chaotic as fans stormed the pitch after an earlier confrontation when a spectator attacked one of the players.

In the 33rd minute of the match a shirtless Hapoel Tel Aviv fan ran onto the field and began hitting and kicking Maccabi’s Eran Zehavi.

Zahavi defended himself and the two men exchanged blows for several moments before security dragged the fan away. The game referee, acting according to the rules of the game that prohibit players from being involved in violence on the pitch, then issued Zehavi a red card, sparking a further outburst from players and fans.

The outraged Zahavi refused to leave and for ten minutes argued against the decision but to no avail.

After numerous other fans ran onto the field and began exchanging blows, the game was brought to an end and the players were evacuated.

Police arrested the Hapoel fan who started the incident as well as some ten other spectators who ran onto the pitch.

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