Israel hope to bloom

By Simon Griver, October 28, 2010

Israel manager Luis Fernandez has requested that his team play their next two home qualifiers at Bloomfield Stadium. The call came after the Frenchman watched the highly-charged Tel Aviv derby on Saturday night which Hapoel won. Fernandez feels the national stadium in Ramat Gan lacks atmosphere.

He also insists that Israel can still qualify for Euro finals. "I want to play our next home games against Georgia and Latvia at Bloomfield. We will take six points in those games and if we win away games we can still go through."

The Israel FA has yet to discuss the proposal. The Bloomfield only has a capacity of 14,700 but ticket sales are unlikely to exceed 20,000 for the Georgia and Latvia matches in the 40,000 capacity Ramat Gan stadium, which is scheduled to be demolished in 2012 and replaced by a state-of-the-art 60,000 stadium.

Eyal Berkovic's dream of becoming the next Israel manager has suffered a setback after he was thrown out of the Uefa PRO-License course and suspended for seven months for calling the Israel FA disciplinary committee "a bunch of non-entities". The committee had suspended him for six weeks for insulting a referee during a schoolboy match.

Last updated: 11:32am, October 28 2010