Turks investigated after attack on Israeli team

The Local Austria
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Turks investigated after attack on Israeli team
Maccabi Haifa players. File photo: APA/Krug

After pro-Palestinian protesters stormed a football match between Israeli club Maccabi Haifa and French team Lille in Bischofshofen on Wednesday 20 men of Turkish origin who are resident in the state of Salzburg have been reported to the police.


"The Office for State Protection is investigating about 20 people, mainly ethnic Turkish young adults from the Pongau region," police spokesman Ortwin Lamprecht confirmed on Friday.

"We must ascertain the identity of the culprits and determine which offenses they are suspected of. Then they will be charged," Lamprecht added.

The players and coach of the Israeli team have also been questioned, as witnesses.

The protesters may be charged on suspicion of incitement, intentional aggravated assault, assault and public disorder.

The incident caused outrage throughout Austria.

A match which had been planned to take place on Saturday in Tyrol between Maccabi Haifa and SC Paderborn has been cancelled due to "massive security concerns".

"We are a community of only 5,000 and do not even have our own police force," said the deputy Mayor of Kirchbichl Wilfried Ellinger.

"If there were any rioters we simply couldn't deal with them," he added. 

The Maccabi Haifa website has posted an official statement from club captain Yossi Benayoun commenting on Wednesday's violent scenes.

Benayoun said: "As a football club we condemn all acts of verbal and physical violence... in the closing minutes of the match we were attacked by thugs on the pitch simply because we are Israelis. We had no choice but to defend ourselves."




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