Football: Wellington Phoenix's Tomer Hemed escapes sanction for Israeli post-goal celebrations

  • Updated
  • 20/05/2021

Wellington Phoenix striker Tomer Hemed has escaped sanction for his politically motivated post-goal celebrations against Melbourne City on Sunday night.

The Israeli scored a pair of goals in the 2-2 draw at AAMI Park and showed support for his home country, draping himself in the national flag after his first-half penalty.

After his late equaliser, the 34-year-old pulled out a kippah - a traditional Jewish cap - and placed it on his head. 

The perceived political statement was criticised, given the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, and Phoenix general manager David Dome expected a "please explain" from the A-League.

Hemed was yellow-carded after the second goal and the A-League has deemed that punishment was enough.

"Tomer Hemed received a yellow card for his celebration following his second goal in Sunday's match against Melbourne City FC, in line with the laws of the game," a Football Australia spokesperson tells Newshub. "Given he received a caution throughout the match, the matter is considered final.”

The Phoenix host Western United at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on Saturday, their first home game in 433 days. 

The club has since released a statement requesting fans refrain from bringing any national flags other than New Zealand or Australia to Saturday's game "out of respect for all nationalities caught up in the conflict".