Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 11:09 UK

Israel club denied trophy by fans

Beitar Jersualem fans burn flares at a match in October 2006
Beitar Jerusalem fans are notoriously unruly and right-wing

Premature celebrations by the notoriously unruly fans of an Israeli football club have robbed it of a chance to clinch the championship.

Four minutes from time on Sunday night, thousands of Beitar Jerusalem supporters invaded the pitch as their team led 1-0 against Maccabi Herzliya.

The referee suspended the match and Beitar forfeited the league points.

The behaviour of the Beitar fans, well known for their far-right views, was all over Monday's Israeli front pages.

"Those people are abnormal and idiots," said billionaire Beitar owner Arcady Gaydamak.

Beitar fans were banned from two home matches after they jeered a minute's silence in memory of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin last November, and even sang songs praising his assassin.

Victory would have given Beitar an unbeatable 15-point lead in the Israeli league with five matches to play.

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