Israeli side fined €30,000 and asked to pay damages for Centenary Stadium damage
The UEFA Appeals Body have fined Ħamrun Spartans and Maccabi Haifa following the crowd trouble during the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, first leg tie that was played at the Centenary Stadium last week.
The Malta champions and the Israel side were both charged by UEFA after their respective fans’ unruly behaviour during the said match that Maccabi Haifa won 4-0.
Scottish referee Donald Robertson was forced to stop the match twice after Maccabi Haifa fans hurled flairs during the match, provoking a great commotion between both sets of supporters.
The first incident happened in the first half when Maccabi Haifa fans threw flares on the pitch, forcing the referee to halt the match for a few minutes until the pitch was cleaned and calm was restored on the stands.
In the second half, things got even worse as Maccabi Haifa fans lit up flares a second time, provoking an angry response from the Ħamrun Spartans fans that were sitting a few metres away, who threw bottles of water and beer at the visitors’ area.
In its ruling, the UEFA body announced that Ħamrun Spartans would be fined €20,000 “and to order the partial closure of Ħamrun Spartans FC’s stadium, which shall consist of the entire Main Tribune, during the next UEFA competition match it plays as the host club for crowd disturbance.
“The partial stadium closure is suspended for a probationary period of two years, starting from the date of the present decision.”
Ħamrun Spartans were further handed a fine of €8,250 for blocking public passageways.
The UEFA ruling means that Ħamrun Spartans will have part of their home stadium closed if they commit a similar breach in their next competitive matches in Europe within the next two years.
On the other hand, Maccabi Haifa were fined €30,000 and are banned from selling tickets to their fans for their next away UEFA competitive fixture after being found guilty for lighting of fireworks, throwing objects, acts of damage, and crowd disturbances.
The Israel club were also ordered to make contact with Ħamrun Spartans in the next 30 days to reach a financial settlement for the damage caused to the Centenary Stadium pitch by their supporters.
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