The quarter-final match of the 2023 CEV Men’s Volleyball Champions League in Tel Aviv, Israel, last Thursday, was at one point played in impossible conditions for a sports match.
During the match between the home side of Maccabi Yeadim Tel-Aviv and Omonia Nicosia in the quarter-finals of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2023 | Men, on January 12, there was hooliganism at work. Israeli fans threw a flare (or a smoke bomb) during the first set and it landed on the court, luckily missing the players.
During the interval between sets, brawls caused by Maccabi fans intensified, and more flares were lit. The threats to expel the fans from the hall and the attempts to calm the situation by the Israeli sports minister, Miki Zohar, who was present at the match, were of no avail. As a result, the referees ordered a 50-minute break during which nearly a thousand people (according to the official report, that many spectators came to watch the game) were ejected from the stands for scandalous behavior.
Eventually, Maccabi won 3-0. The rematch is scheduled for January 26.