Pro-Palestinian fans `attack` Israeli players

Bichofshofen, Austria: A pre-season friendly between Maccabi Haifa and French side Lille had to be abandoned when a group of pro-Palestinian supporters invaded the pitch and attacked some of the Israeli players.

Lille said on its Twitter feed that the referee called a halt to the game after a group of youths, waving Palestinian flags and placards, ran onto the pitch at the Austrian venue with just three minutes of the game left yesterday.

After a series of brief scuffles, the protestors were led away by security officers and the game called off with the French side 2-0 ahead at the time.

"Maccabi Haifa Football Club believes in co-existence, tolerance and is against violence," a club statement given to the Jerusalem Post read.

"We denounce the violence that was used against us. This didn`t happen because of sport or football, it happened because we are a team which represents Israel."

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