Outside the Lines: Aarele Weisberg on the Ticket Storm in the Basketball Playoff Finals (Walla System!)
The storm of ticket sales to Hapoel Tel Aviv fans ahead of the first game of the final series has not yet come to an end. Maccabi Tel Aviv wants to activate the "state of emergency" clause and prevent the sale of tickets to the Reds fans. The refusal came after officials responsible for the safety of those present in the arena, including the police district commander, refused to take responsibility for a disaster when the fear of it is palpable in the eyes of the yellows.
Club chairman Shimon Mizrahi was interviewed by 103FM on Tuesday evening and commented on the saga: "The plaintiff's letter is puzzling, to say the least. He says that much more severe measures will be taken in the future. When in the future? After some kind of disaster happens? Don't say what will happen in the future, but what will happen in the present. Now the manager is ready on condition that she distribute the tickets. Why yesterday in a meeting with the principal did she not take responsibility. They knew 7,500 tickets had been sold, would they put two people on one seat?"
Listen to Shimon Mizrahi's words
The clashing continues. Shimon Mizrahi (Photo: Liron Moldovan)
"The tickets intended for Hapoel Tel Aviv fans are reserved, they have not been sold," Mizrahi clarified, "We want to know who is responsible in case of disaster. We have given enough to basketball over the past few decades, we don't want to deal with civil and criminal lawsuits after the event managers, security advisers and the Israel Police each remove responsibility. The Basketball Association sent us to the principal, are we a game ball in anyone's eyes?"
"Remember what happened between Beitar Jerusalem and Bnei Sakhnin in football. Foreign audiences didn't come in, which is what we asked for. I'm not talking about the financial damages that no one wants to buy a subscription under the gates intended for Hapoel fans. It's the health of the fans."
The Yellow Chairman spoke about the warnings received from safety officials: "The commander of the area obtained a letter that he joins and recommends that we consider positively prohibiting embezzlement of the public, as we requested. I am between the hammer and the anvil, each one absolving himself of responsibility. If the ICC rules that we need to issue tickets, we will do so, but it will also write in its decision who is responsible. We're not asking for more than that."
"There were other disasters in Israel where safety measures were taken and people were still in prison. I won't let my friends and I, decades later, stand in this situation. We want good, clean and fair basketball. Will tickets be sold and no one will take responsibility? I'm not ready for that," Mizrahi concluded."
Listen to Rami Cohen's comment
"They don't want to see our audience, period." Rami Cohen (Photo: Udi Zitiat)
Immediately afterwards, Hapoel Tel Aviv chairman Rami Cohen went on the air, responding to his counterpart's remarks in yellow: "The concept of 'responsibility' regarding a sporting event was invented yesterday by Maccabi Tel Aviv, no one thought about it in depth. When Maccabi Haifa hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv in football, who is responsible? The license holder, in 99% of the cases in Israel, is the hall itself. We've been in the same sport for 30 years and I don't see bodies. This is the sixth time Maccabi Tel Aviv has tried this trick with the tickets, the first time was ten years ago. So there were no powders yet, Maccabi Tel Aviv doesn't want to see a Hapoel Tel Aviv crowd, period."
"I'm against wrestling in a closed hall just because of the panic and it's not worth the risk, but in the end you can't have one group get up in the morning and be the judiciary and executive based on an event that didn't happen. I approached the union three years ago to make a price list of fines - how much does avoca, lighter and confetti cost, but they don't do that. Ready to sit in the summer and set an astronomical price list. No group can be held accountable and set the rules and penalties."
"Let them put Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at gates 5-6 up and down, it's not in the subscription," Cohen suggested, "are they afraid of flares being thrown into the stands below, the fans will throw them at Hapoel Tel Aviv fans? They didn't throw the avocados in the previous game either. Shimon Mizrahi sat in the union and told us about a chair that burned and a lighter that hit the referee, these are things that didn't happen in our games. We all have a role to sit, we don't have to do it now in a hasty decision two days before a final. We need to sit down in the summer, find penalties and increase enforcement, but that's not the discussion today."
- Shimon Mizrahi
- Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball
- Rami Cohen
- Hapoel Tel Aviv Basketball