Top 2 Israeli leagues suspended due to violence
The head of Israel’s football association called off matches in
the top two divisions at the weekend following another episode on
Friday of mounting on-field violence.
Israel Football Association chief Avi Luzon canceled Saturday’s
Premier League and National League games after players brawled at
the end of a match between Hapoel Ramat Gan and Bnei Lod.
”I don’t want someone getting killed on the football field,
heaven forbid,” he said. ”With all due respect to football, I
don’t want football played tomorrow after today’s events.”
Luzon told Channel 2 TV that association officials would meet
next week to decide what steps to take to quell the violence. He
said he decided to call off the matches after consulting with
Sports Minister Limor Livnat among others.
Livnat had demanded earlier Friday that all matches, including
youth league games, be called off so football clubs could take
”Football fields have become battlefields and are a meance to
the public welfare,” she said.
Luzon has been criticized for failing to rein in the increasing
number of violent acts at football games this year. But he told
Channel 2 TV that he won’t resign, saying ”it’s not my
Friday’s brawl came just three weeks after a similar melee broke
out at the end of a Premier League game between Maccabi Petah Tikva
and Hapoel Haifa.
The Israel Football Association docked Petah Tikva three league
points but deferred the punishment to next season following an
appeal by the club, which is chaired by Luzon’s brother Amos
The deferral prompted allegations of favoritism.