Soccer match with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa stopped due to pro-Palestinian protesters

The match ended when people waving Palestinian flags confronted Maccabi players on the pitch.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   July 24, 2014 at 8:17 AM

BISCHOFSHOFEN , Austria, July 24 (UPI) -- A pre-season friendly between an Israeli team and a French squad ended in a very unfriendly manner when pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the field.

People waving Palestinian flags confronted Maccabi Haifa players in the second half of the match, and it was called off in the 85th minute. It's unclear if players from French club Lille were also assaulted.

The match was being played in the Austrian town of Bischofshofen.

Punches and kicks were thrown by both sides, but the situation was resolved with "several of the protesters being escorted out of the stadium and the Haifa players leaving the pitch unscathed," the Jerusalem Post reported.

Lille was ahead 2-0 when the match was called off. "Maccabi Haifa Football Club believes in co-existence, tolerance and is against violence," a club statement read. "We denounce the violence that was used against us. This didn't happen because of sport or football, it happened because we are a team which represents Israel."

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