U-21 Israel-England match splits fans

By James Masters, June 5, 2013

England fans in Israel are bracing themselves for Tuesday's Uefa Under-21 clash at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.

The game is almost certain to be sold out for the final Group A game, with both teams hoping to be in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Hundreds of English olim are expected to turn up to back England.

"As silly as it may seem, being a football fan is part of what joins me to the collective English psyche," said Josh Phillips, who moved to Israel from Manchester five years ago.

"In fact, it is probably the most important factor. Israelis will wake up after a game of football and, win or lose, they just go on - you don't get the sort of hand-wringing that happens back home. I think for that reason I'll be supporting England, because being Israeli means so much more than football."

But Ben King-Scott, who now lives in Tel Aviv, said: "For sure, I'll be supporting Israel; it's the country I live in."

Last updated: 3:02pm, June 6 2013