Benayoun blasts Israel FA chairman

By Simon Griver, October 22, 2010
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Yossi Benayoun, the Israel captain, has publicly criticised Israel FA chairman Avi Luzon for blaming Blackpool's Dekel Keinan for Israel's two recent Euro 2012 qualifying defeats.

His comments came after Luzon blamed Keinan for back-to-back 2-1 defeats against Croatia and Greece. Luzon said: "Keinan ruined both games for us, giving away a goal in each game."

Benayoun said: "I don't think any chairman has the right to criticise any player. His words were not appropriate.

"With all due respect, the coach is the only person qualified to criticise the players. I would want a player like Dekel Keinan in any team I was playing for."

Benayoun said he later spoke to Luzon who apologised for his outburst.

Benayoun missed both games with a ruptured Achilles tendon which has sidelined him for six months. He had an operation in Sweden on Monday as Chelsea and Israel have been trading the blame for the injury. Benayoun said last week that "Chelsea do not understand how they missed it." But Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti responded: "I can say this: he did not have a tear on his tendon when he left England."

Aware that Israel could be held liable, Israel FA spokesman Gil Lebanony said: "When Yossi came to Israel he did not train with us for a second. Our national team doctor diagnosed a serious problem in less than a minute and the MRI confirmed a big tear in the tendon."

    Last updated: 10:16am, October 22 2010