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Sofo attacked the fans of Hapoel

By Aris Barkas/

The 83-80 road win of Maccabi Tel Aviv over Hapoel Tel Aviv for the domestic Israeli league was marked by the unprofessional behavior of Greek center Sofoklis Shortsanitis. After the end of the game Big Sofo attacked the stands of the home fans as you can see in this report and video. According to Maccabi Tel Aviv’s sources their player was provoked by racist chants, however this kind of outburst is unacceptable, specially when among the fans there are children, like in this case the four years old son of Hapoel’s coach Erez Edelshtein. Sofo was escorted by his teammates in the locker room, while Hapoel is asking for his banishment from the league until the end of the season.

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  • Erik

    Sofo has been around and played in hostile environments before (see Oly-Pana derbies). After i took knowledge of what happened, i can say i m really sorry that he did not catch the coward, but glad for Sofo cause it would destroy his career.
    How much can a man take before he flips?
    He got spit by him, racist comments, comments about his family, his wife, etc… but the thing that was the last straw and made him flip, is that the sick person told Sofo that he will rape his 2 kids (son and daughter)(!!!).
    And he has immunity just because he bought a ticket? Is he entitled to make sick comments and to treat athletes like animals, knowing that the athletes is not allowed to react?
    Well he reacted and it was fun to watch the pervert run for his life. Next time he will think twice before being crossing some red lines…

  • Ali

    Terrible Sofo just terrible.
    2 years ago in Palaestra lots of fans from distance of 1-2 meters were insulting and spitting Joey Dorsey.
    He said few words back and thats the most extreme an athlete is allowed to do, maybe throw a bottle back too is under the limits of how unsportive you can be.
    Running on the crowd like Godjila with fury because you were insulted is just terrible, reason to ban him from basketball.
    Media keeps talking about strong supporters, tough courts and proud fans , while we know that fans have many chants with dirty insults.
    On this case though, media seemed to be very soft on Sofo, trying to protect him and blame the people that were saying chants.
    Its really weird, if this is OK then all athletes are allowed to use their 2.00 m 140 kg bodies to chase fans that dont like .

    • Erman

      ”if this is OK then all athletes are allowed to use their 2.00 m 140 kg bodies to chase fans that dont like”

      You are looking at this only from one angle. Players get paid for what they do but it doesn’t mean they have to put up with all kinds of insults and harrasment. Because fans easily getaway with actions like this, at some point players naturally breakdown and seek their own punishment. If a fan is so brave to insult a player of that size, taking courage from being in a crowd and the safety of the security guards separating fans from players, he should also be brave enough to stand his ground and not run away as it happened in this case. If that man is so brave, perhaps he should wait outside the hall and tell Sofo face to face ”I will rape your son”.
      Players are heavily punished for all their actions but fans getaway with all kinds of crap. If there is no justice, chaos starts..

  • a

    I still don’t get it. You are spitting and using racist language against someone, but when that someone turn back and chase you, you run… I don’t get it. Prolly that fan was a victim of domestic violence by his wife. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Erman

    I wonder what really happened there that triggered Sofo to behave like this. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t done anything like this before so he must have been really insulted to lose himself like that. I do not condone his behaviour but if there was a racist insult, I can see why he flipped out like that.

  • NoToRacism

    What about the racist provoker? Is he gonna be punished too?!

  • Hugo

    Will EL or Israeli league take any measure to deal with that problem?? There should be some sanctions against spectators who made malicious racial statements. I think fans should show respect to all players no matter what race the players belong to and there is no reason that players have to play basketball under such racial pressure.