Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory’s future as manager of Maccabi Ahi Nazareth is uncertain because he is not qualified to coach in Israel.
Only coaches with Uefa qualifications are allowed to stand on the touchline during matches.
The Israel FA received a letter from the English FA on Monday which said: “John Gregory has the FA Full Badge. Although this is not valid and approved by Uefa, it was still an official qualification within England at the time it was taken.”
We have learned that Gregory has enrolled in a conversion course to receive a Uefa A licence, to be able to take a Uefa PRO course. The Israel FA is in the process of making it mandatory for Premier League coaches to hold this more advanced qualification and is not eager to let a coach stand on the touchline without one.
Israel FA’s coaching director Pini Keinan said: “Avram Grant was required to take his Uefa PRO course in Israel to coach at Chelsea, and I’m presuming that John Gregory well knows Uefa’s regulations.”
Nazareth will be reluctant to let red tape affect Gregory, who after two games, has lifted the team off the bottom of the table. On Saturday he sat in the stands and sent phone messages to his assistant Nejwan Grayeb on the touchline as Nazareth forced a dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Grayeb said: “It is ridiculous that Gregory is allowed to coach in the Premier League but not in Israel. I hope they don’t make too much of this and allow him to coach.”