Bulgarian soccer fans attack Israeli players during Sofia match

Marcy Oster

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(JTA) — Soccer fans in Bulgaria attacked Israeli players and coaches during an exhibition match in Sofia.

Players from the Ashdod team fled to empty stands and then out of the stadium after the fans ran on the field throwing bottles and physically attacking players during the match on Sunday, according to reports. The attack in the Bulgarian capital followed a rough foul against a player from CSKA Sofia near the end of the game.

Ashdod coach Eyal Lahman was hit in the face with a broken bottle. Other players reportedly received light injuries as well.

The Israeli team was leading 1-0 when the game was stopped.

Some Bulgarian fans reportedly were shouting anti-Semitic epithets at Israeli players during the game. They also cheered when the Israelis were driven out of the stadium; security guards blocked fans from pursuing the players.

Sofia police reportedly believe that some fans had been planning to cause a disturbance during the match.

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