UEFA probes Israeli team Maccabi Haifa's match in Malta after Palestine chant

UEFA probes Israeli team Maccabi Haifa's match in Malta after Palestine chant
Five Israelis were arrested as a result of Maccabi Haifa fans throwing flares and other objects onto the football pitch following supporters of the Maltese team Hamrun Spartans' chants of 'Palestine, Palestine.'
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Maccabi Haifa played against Maltese side Hamrun Spartans fans on Tuesday night [Getty]

UEFA on Wednesday opened disciplinary proceedings after Israeli team Maccabi Haifa's Champions League qualifier against Hamrun Spartans in Malta was disrupted following chants of "Palestine, Palestine" by local fans.

On Tuesday night, with the visitors two goals up, tensions rose as Maccabi fans launched flares onto the pitch in the Centenary Stadium in Ta' Qali in Malta in response to the Maltese supporters' chants.

The game had to be stopped for 30 minutes.

UEFA, the governing body of European football charged both clubs over "throwing of objects" and "crowd disturbance" by their fans. Maccabi faced additional charges over "lighting of fireworks" and "acts of damage".

Five Israeli supporters were arrested, according to The Times of Israel.

Malta Today reported that two pleaded guilty on Wednesday in a local magistrates court.

It said police had told the court the two men had been arrested after throwing flares and that when they were searched, three more flares were found.

The two men were sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for three years and each fined 300 euros ($334).

Earlier, police said that fans searched at the entry to the stadium were found to be smuggling flares in their underwear.

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Maccabi won the match 4-0. The second leg is scheduled for July 18 in Israel.