Awat dumps Barca out of title race

Israel national keeper Dudu Awat ensured it was a bad week for Barcelona by ending their Spanish League title hopes with a starring role in Deportivo La Coruna’s 2-0 victory.

The 30-year-old has been in exceptional form with six clean sheets in 10 games since returning to Depor’s first team in February after spending 10 weeks on the bench and following a string of defeats that left them struggling in the relegation zone. Despite Awat’s rehabilitation, sources close to the Israeli say that he is eager to move to England in the summer. Having been linked with a move to Bolton, he would be happy to join fellow Israeli Tamir Cohen, but would decline the switch if the Trotters are relegated.

Barcelona starlet Gai Assulin, 16, refused to play for Israel’s Under 19 team at the European Championship qualifying tournament as he was furious about being handed his preliminary call-up papers for IDF service. The Israel FA Disciplinary Appeals Committee has overturned the 2-0 technical victory to Maccabi Herzliya over Betar Jerusalem and ordered the match to be replayed behind closed doors. The punishment followed a pitch invasion by Betar fans in last month’s match.

Birmingham’s Daniel de Ridder has admitted he may have to consider his future after becoming frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities.

    Last updated: 4:28pm, May 7 2008