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Israeli club punished for Cup pitch invasion

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Apr 2008

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Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem have been sanctioned severely after their fans invaded the pitch during the Cup final last weekend, according to press reports on Friday.

Four minutes before time thousands of Beitar supporters rushed on to the pitch as Beitar was leading Maccabi Herzliya 1-0.

The premature celebrations robbed their club of the trophy as unable to clear the field so play could continue, the referee suspended the match, giving victory to Maccabi by default.

The Israeli Football Federation have ordered that the club be deducted two points this season and four points next season.

Beitar have also been ordered to play four matches behind closed doors and were fined NIS 30,000 (6,000 euros).

Beitar fans are well known for their excesses and far-right views.

“Those people are abnormal and idiots,” said club owner Arcady Gaydamak, an Israeli-Russian billionaire after last Sunday’s match.

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