Arrests made after rival Tel Aviv fans brawl again outside courthouse
A day after the Tel Aviv derby in Israel's Premier League was called off due to fan violence, fans of rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv clashed again Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
The brawl took place on the street outside the courthouse where authorities were determining potential further arrests from Monday's incident. The rival fans hit each other with belts and sticks until order was restored. Six arrests were made.
Police said video of both fights would continue to be reviewed and more arrests were likely.
A special parliamentary committee has convened as a result of [Monday's] brawl.
"What happened was extremely serious and shameful," Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat said. "It's a shame there are those who want to turn the field into a battle zone and spoil the principles of Israeli soccer and sport."
In the incident at the Maccabi-Hapoel game, a shirtless fan ran onto the field in the 33rd minute and confronted Maccabi star Eran Zehavi, who had just scored to tie the game at 1-1. The fan, identified as 41-year-old Alroee Yadai, hit and kicked the player, and Zehavi fought back until security guards soon dragged the fan away. Yadai has been arrested 11 times in the past for acts of violence, authorities said.
A referee then gave Zehavi a red card for his actions, angering him and his teammates. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Zehavi at first refused to leave and Maccabi general manager Jordi Cruyff threatened to have his players walk away from the game.
Play resumed several minutes later but was quickly stopped again when more fans entered the field and attacked security personnel, while fans in the stands threw objects at Zehavi. Twelve fans were arrested.
The incident comes weeks after a Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone carrying a nationalist Albanian flag was flown over the field, causing a confrontation between the two teams as fans began throwing objects at Albanian players.
It's unclear if either club will face sanctions from UEFA as a result of the violence.
Maccabi entered the match tied for second place in Israel's Premier League with 15 points in six games. Hapoel, which entered tied for fifth place with 10 points, defeated Maccabi in the teams' last matchup last season for its first win in the local derby since November 2012.
- Ben Estes