Don’t blame me for unrest, says Luzon

By Simon Griver, April 26, 2012
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Avi Luzon has rejected calls to resign following another outbreak of violence at an Israeli football match.

Last week’s entire programme was suspended by Luzon following a mass brawl between players and coaches of Hapoel Ramat Gan and Bnei Lod in the Ligat Leumit last week.

Eleven players were arrested although they have yet to be charged. The ugly scenes resembled those at the end of last month’s match between Maccabi Petach Tikvah and Hapoel Haifa in Ligat Ha’Al.

Luzon insists the problems in football reflect those in wider society. He said: “We live in a violent country and the police, courts and schools must deal with this.”

Eyal Berkovic, the former West Ham, Celtic and Israeli midfielder, has led mass protests over the violence. He feels Israeli football should restructure itself along the lines of the English game.

Berkovic said: “Luzon can keep his job but a new professional administration should be set up to manage the leagues, leaving the FA only in charge of the national team.

“It was a mistake to remove the police from stadiums and leave security issues in the hands of stewards.”

Meanwhile, Maccabi Haifa have appointed Reuven Atar as their new manager. He replaces Elisha Levi.

Tal Ben Haim will leave Portsmouth this summer as his agent, Pini Zahavi, says he will not play in League One. The Israel defender, 30, earns in the region of £30,000 at the cash-strapped club who are on the verge of relegation. He hopes to arrange a mutual consent agreement with one year remaining on his current deal.

    Last updated: 11:57am, April 26 2012