The 2022/2023 season ended last week, with Maccabi Haifa winning the national championship and Beitar Jerusalem winning the State Cup. Unfortunately, both teams are also at the top of ugly events on the soccer field.
A report on kicking racism and violence off the pitches, published on Sunday, shows that it was a bad season for Israeli football in terms of nothing to do with the game, "starring" the fans, who crossed the border too many times.
The most pressing issue is racism, and this season a record was broken with 190 such ugly chants, shattering the previous record from the 2015/2016 season, when a total of 79 such chants were heard. 28 of the chants were growls at players.
Maccabi Haifa fans. Disrespect for Holocaust survivors, photo: Alan Shaver
At the top of the table are Beitar Jerusalem fans with 78 ugly chants, followed immediately by Maccabi Tel Aviv fans with 65. The rest of the calls are split among the other 12 Premier League teams, but only 8 times has a team been prosecuted for it.
94 cases of violent behavior by the crowd, including throwing objects, reached the court, with Maccabi Haifa leading the way with 18 cases. It is immediately followed by Beitar and Hapoel Be'er Sheva with 15 cases, and then Maccabi Tel Aviv with 13.
A record 97 pyrotechnics were an integral part of this season, but far more disturbing was the frequent mention of the Holocaust in fan songs – 107 in total. The "champions" in such a sensitive field were Maccabi Haifa fans with no less than 74 mentions of the Holocaust. In second place are Hapoel Tel Aviv fans with 32 mentions.
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