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Monday, January 9, 2006
Israeli fans brawl at Arab stadium

SAKHNIN, Israel Jan 9 (Reuters) - Scores of fans of bitter rivals Betar Jerusalem and Arab club Bnei Sakhnin fought a pitched battle after supporters of the Israeli club stormed the pitch at the end of their 0-0 draw on Sunday.

It took 350 police more than an hour to restore order. Betar owner Arkady Gaydamak, whose luxury car was stoned during the fighting, looked stunned as he waited in the visiting team's dressing room. He described events as 'not nice'.

Gaydamak, whose son Alexandre bought a 50 percent stake in English Premier League club Portsmouth last week, had received a warm welcome to Sakhnin's new 5,000-seat Doha Stadium after donating money to the club's youth development programme.

Betar are third in the 12-strong league; Sakhnin are 10th.

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