Israeli football club staff injured in 'antisemitic attack' in Poland

Hapoel Petah Tikva targeted by masked thugs after pre-season friendly match near Warsaw


Two staff members of Israeli football club Hapoel Petah Tikva were injured in Poland after being attacked by masked hooligans in what the Israeli embassy called an “antisemitic incident”.

The attack happened after a friendly match between Petah Tikva and Polish club MKS Ciechanow in Suchocin, near Warsaw, on Wednesday night.

Moshe Harel and Oz Batzon, who work in the club's logistics department, both suffered “slight facial injuries”, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Petah Tikva coach Oren Krispin said: “After the match we went to the lobby of the hotel, while a couple of our staff members were collecting equipment. Around 15 to 20 skinheads came out of the woods and raced onto the field and began punching and kicking them.

“One of the players in the lobby noticed this and we all ran out to help. Once the skinheads saw us they ran away.”

Hapoel Petah Tikva play in the second tier of Israeli football, while MKS Ciechanow  play in Poland’s fifth tier.

In a letter to Aleksander Ceferin, the Uefa President, Dr Shumon Samuels, director for international relations the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), called for disciplinary action against another Polish club, Legia Warsaw.

Petah Tikva claims the fans involved in the attack were identifiable as support of Legia Warsaw.

The Polish club denies the claim, saying its fans were watching the team play in a Uefa Champions League qualifying round at the time.

Dr Samuels wrote: “A red card must be flagged to all such manifestations of hatred and violence that abuse the beautiful game.”

Both Petah Tikva and the SWC have retracted their accusations of Legia Warsaw's involvement. 

The SWC said: "It now appears that no-one connected to the team Legia Warsaw or its supporters were involved. The Center apologises to the team and withdraws its call for football authorities to sanction Legia Warsaw."

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