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Israeli soccer team attacked by pro-Palestinians in Austria

JTA

July 24, 2014 | 3:06 pm

Members of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team were attacked on the field in Austria by pro-Palestinian protesters.

The activists stormed the field and physically assaulted the Israeli players during a preseason match Wednesday against the French soccer club Lille. Some of the players retaliated, leading to a brawl on the field. No one was injured.

The game was not completed. A second game scheduled for the same venue reportedly was canceled.

“We experienced an uncomfortable atmosphere of violence on the pitch and in the stands,” Maccabi Haifa said in a statement after the incident. “The attack was premeditated and dangerous in light of the incitement in Turkish media.”

The protesters were mostly Turkish immigrants, according to the team.

Meanwhile, the  International Tennis Federation is considering a request to move the Davis Cup elimination round match next month between Israel and Argentina out of Tel Aviv because of the ongoing Gaza rocket attacks. The president of the Argentina Tennis Association, Arturo Grimaldi, made the request.

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