UEFA Delivers Verdict: Maccabi Haifa Hit with Heavy Fine and Ticket Ban, Ħamrun Spartans Also Penalized

In the aftermath of the intense match between Ħamrun Spartans FC and Maccabi Haifa FC in the Champions League, UEFA’s disciplinary board has issued its verdict on the unfortunate incidents that marred the game.

Maccabi Haifa FC was hit with the heaviest punishment as UEFA imposed a substantial fine of €30,000 as compensation for the damage caused by their unruly fans at the Centenary Stadium. Furthermore, the Israeli club will face a ticket ban for their supporters in the next two away matches in the Champions League competition.

TA QALI, MALTA JULY 11: Federico Marchetti, goalkeeper of Hamrun Spartans disperses flares that were thrown onto the pitch of play by Maccabi Haifa supporters during the UEFA Champions League First qualifying round, 1st leg soccer match between Hamrun Spartans and Maccabi Haifa at the Centenary Stadium, on July 11, 2023, in Ta Qali, Malta. UEFA Champions League 2023/24 First Qualifying Round UCL_2023/24 (Photo Guliver Image)

Not to be spared, Ħamrun Spartans also faced the consequences of the disturbances that occurred during the game. The Maltese club was fined €28,250 and will be required to close a section of their stadium for the upcoming match. This penalty was partly due to the obstruction of public passages during the game, which contributed to the tense atmosphere.

To keep the situation in check, UEFA has placed Ħamrun Spartans on probation for the next two years. This means that any future violations of the rules could result in further sanctions, including the closure of another section of their stadium for an additional two years. The probation period commences from the date of the disciplinary decision.

The chaos erupted during the Champions League qualification match on July 11 at Ta’ Qali when Israeli supporters ignited flares in the stadium and directed them towards Ħamrun Spartans fans, leading to significant disturbances. The match had to be suspended for nearly half an hour, causing disruption and concern among officials and spectators.

Subsequently, on July 12, two individuals from Israel faced charges in court related to the incidents. They admitted guilt and were handed a one-year suspended sentence, along with a fine of €300 each.

The incidents have cast a shadow on what should be a celebration of football’s elite competition. Both clubs now face the consequences of the actions of a few unruly individuals, and UEFA’s firm stance seeks to ensure that such behavior is curbed in the future. As the football world awaits more exciting matches in the Champions League, the hope remains that the spirit of the game and fair play will prevail.

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