‘A lot of our fans were killed’: Maccabi Haifa make painful return to the pitch | Maccabi Haifa

Football feels like an irrelevance at Maccabi Haifa’s hotel in Larnaca. The players, coaches and staff members milling around the lobby are meant to be thinking about facing Villarreal in the Europa League but this is not a normal situation. This is a community in shock, traumatised by Hamas murdering 1,400 Israelis and taking over 240 hostages into Gaza, and it is hard to focus. “Usually you think about the game, the tactics,” says Sean Goldberg, the Haifa defender. “But the mind is not here.”

Haifa should not be here. There has been no football in Israel since the horror of 7…

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