Chaos erupted during the Abu Ammar Cup final match between Markaz Balata and Jabal Al-Mukaber at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in East Jerusalem.
According to the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Israeli forces fired tear gas inside the stadium, causing several players and fans to suffer from choking and breathlessness.
As per reports, Turkey’s General Consul to Palestine, Ahmet Riza Demirer, and the president of the PFA, Jibril al-Rajoub, were attending the match when the incident occurred.
The association claims that the assault took place during the halftime break and disrupted the competition. Fans rushed onto the pitch to get some fresh air.
BREAKING: More pictures coming in from Faisal Al-Husseini stadium. League Cup final unlikely to resume after Israeli forces stormed the stadium at halftime and fired teargas into the stands and onto the pitch. pic.twitter.com/y5BxGnirA8
— FootballPalestine.com (@FutbolPalestine) March 30, 2023
It was also reported that tear gas fired in the stadium is known to cause severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and, after long exposure, blindness.
The PFA further added that the Israeli assault was intended to harm the lives of football players and fans in the stadium, and it would file a complaint with FIFA about the incident.
“I think those are the neo-Nazis. Targeting football players and fans, and firing tear gas on the pitch and the stadium, is a stain in the [Israeli] occupation’s face,” a PFA official said.
The match resumed after a 30-minute delay. However, the incident raises concerns about the safety and security of Palestinian athletes and fans in occupied East Jerusalem.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings