MK Kati Shitrit of the Likud wrote to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana on Tuesday demanding an emergency discussion in the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee following the heavy punishment Beitar Jerusalem received and the revocation of its right to play in Europe following the mass outburst of the crowd onto the pitch after the final, which prevented the trophy hoisting ceremony.
Beitar Jerusalem fans demonstrate near Nir Reshef's home // Photo: Oren Daniel
According to MK Shitrit's proposal: "In football, achievements are measured on the pitch. The punishment given to Beitar Jerusalem – the expulsion from Europe – does not represent sporting values at all. The Football Association is solely responsible for the game's failures and therefore it is the one that should be punished, not the football team.
"The team won the cup and therefore deserves to play in Europe. Fan behavior should not have consequences for the players and coach who won the game and collective punishments for those who do not have to bear responsibility at all are not the solution. This decision must change, otherwise there is no value to the team's victory on the field - a clearly unsportsmanlike method of refereeing and punishment. Therefore, I would like to hold a quick discussion in the Education, Culture and Sports Committee."
Udi Tene, strategic consultant and campaign manager, a Beitar Jerusalem fan, said that the fans intend to turn to the courts: "We, fans of teams everywhere and not only fans of the teams that participated in the cup final, have been suffering for years from the lack of organization of the Football Association. The FA repeatedly brings in independent expats here and all the fans of the teams suffer. We miraculously emerged from the cup final after bringing crowds without tickets into the team stands and miraculously the cup final did not turn into a Meron 2 disaster. The Association must be held accountable."
The hottest sports articles and updates on your Telegram
Attorney Aviad Lenchner, a criminal law expert representing Beitar Jerusalem fans: "Filing an indictment and punishment against the team is sinful to the truth. The one in charge of the incident is the Association, and it is the one that must be held accountable. We are examining our legal action against the Association and will announce it shortly. It is inconceivable that football fans in Israel will suffer because of the association's lack of organization."
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us