Yossi Benayoun has said that his Maccabi Haifa teammates did the right thing by getting physical with the protestors who attacked them during their friendly game against the French club Lille the other day.
That match was taking place in Austria and Lille was ahead by a profound margin of 2-0. Just when the proceedings were about to get over, some people entered the ground and started beating the Haifa players. They were believed to be Pro- Palestinians.
At first, the Haifa players were taken by surprise, but, then, they also fought back.
According to Benayoun, his boys were left with no option. They had to try and defend themselves.
The statement of Benayoun was released by Haifa yesterday. That statement read, “As sportspersons, we are not at all for the physical spat during the matches, but, playing in Austria, we found ourselves in a very difficult situation. A group of people attacked us just because of the fact that we belong to Israel. We had to do something in our defence and we did that. I don’t think it was wrong on our part.”
“We, the older blokes, told the youngsters to stay away and we took it upon ourselves to protect them. It was necessary to do that at that point of time.”
“Our supporters should not change their views about us on the basis of that particular incident.”
The good thing was that none of the Haifa players suffered nasty injuries during that confrontation with the attackers.
Because of all the chaos, the remaining 4 minutes of the game never took place and the referee, at the end, announced the result in Lille’s favour.
The two players who had scored the goals for Lille before that incident were Simon Kjaer and Ryan Mendes.