On April 12, the fans of the AEK Basketball Club in Athens, Greece, attacked the fans of the visiting Hapoel Jerusalem team in the Greek team’s arena with fireworks and stones throughout the game. The locals raised PA and Hezbollah flags and burned at least one Israeli flag. Oh, and one fan hung a sign that read: Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”
Athens police did not dare enter the rowdy local fans’ bleachers and focused instead on the Israeli fans, surrounding them to prevent serious injury.
AEK Athens received an unusually harsh penalty from FIBA, the International Basketball Federation. The club was fined 50,000 euros, and all its home games in the coming season will be held behind closed doors, without an audience – which should entail a much more severe financial penalty.
The Athenian team won 94-78, following an April 4 victory of the Jerusalem team, also in Athens, 64-55 (European games are only 40 minutes long, to compared to 48 in the US, which accounts for the lower scores – DI). Both teams are scheduled to meet again in Jerusalem on Sunday.