Ben Haim is ready to leave Chelsea

By Simon Griver, July 10, 2008

Football Tal Ben Haim began training this week under new Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari but the Israeli defender is expected to join a new club within the next week.

Manchester City, West Ham and Portsmouth have all made offers for the former Bolton and Maccabi Tel Aviv player. Ben Haim wants to remain in England and has already rejected offers from Ajax Amsterdam and the Greek side Panathinaikos.

The Knesset has shelved the ‘Sahar Law’ after reaching an agreement with the IDF that prodigious sportsmen like Ben Sahar will be exempt from national service.

Maccabi Haifa’s CEO Itamar Chizik has been voted on to the 14-man executive of the newly formed European Clubs Association — the 103 club forum which replaces the G-14. The other 13 members of the executive include Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon, Barcelona President Joan Laporta and Bayern Munich  Chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge.

Betar Jerusalem have been drawn against Wisla Krakow in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Israeli champions will host the Poles at the Teddy Stadium on July 29/30 with the return leg the following week. Having avoided some of the tougher teams, including Glasgow Rangers, manager Yitzhak Shum feels that the Poles will be difficult to beat. “They are a strong team but we will do everything to get past them,” he said.

Defeat would end the Israeli’s season in Europe while victory would give them a crack at the third and final qualifying round for the Champions League and guarantee qualification for the Uefa Cup.

Israel’s Uefa Cup representatives were handed easy draws. Hapoel Tel Aviv will travel to San Marino to play Juvenes-Dogana in the first qualifying round of the competition. European debutants Hapoel Kiryat Shmona take on Mogren of Montenegro while Lothar Matthaus’ Maccabi Netanya will enter the competition in the second qualifying round.

Bnei Sakhnin go into tomorrow’s second round second leg Intertoto Cup clash against Renova of Macedonia with a 2-1 lead. The winners face Deportivo.

Last updated: 2:15pm, July 10 2008