When Markaz Balata and Jabal Al-Mukaber played in the Abu Ammar Cup final at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in East Jerusalem, riots broke out.
The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) claims that Israeli police used tear gas inside the stadium, leaving some players and spectators gasping for air and coughing.
According to accounts, Jibril al-Rajoub, president of the PFA, and Ahmet Riza Demirer, general consul of Turkey to Palestine, were present at the game when the event took place.
The assault allegedly occurred during the halftime break and interfered with the competition, according to the association. In order to obtain some fresh air, fans surged onto the pitch.
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
Additionally, it was stated that the tear gas used in the stadium is known to cause blindness after prolonged exposure as well as severe eye and respiratory pain, skin rashes, bleeding, and skin irritation.
The PFA also stated that it would report to FIFA about the incident and that the Israeli assault was meant to endanger the lives of football players and spectators in the stadium.
“I believe they are neo-Nazis. The [Israeli] occupation’s targeting of football players and supporters while hurling tear gas onto the pitch and stadium, according to a PFA official, is a disgrace.
After a 30-minute break, the game was resumed. The event, however, makes many worry about the security and safety of Palestinian athletes and supporters in occupied East Jerusalem.