Betar pay the penalty

By Simon Griver, June 11, 2009

raeli courts for protection from creditors. By going into administration they will be deducted nine points next season and will be ineligible for the Europa Cup despite beating Maccabi Haifa 2-1 in the cup final.

Whereas Alexandre Gaydamak looks to have successfully offloaded Portsmouth’s £80 million debt by selling the club for free to Arab tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim, a similar deal between his father Arkady and Brazilian billionaire Guma Aguiar has broken down.

Aguiar’s accountants advise that he purchase the club from a court-appointed receiver because of uncertainties regarding Betar’s debts estimated to be in the region of £30 million. Aguiar’s adviser Bobby Brown said: “Aguiar is committed to supporting the club but can only do so after a receiver has been appointed. With the present debt he cannot go into the club.”

Betar and Israeli international striker Amit Ben Shushan has been questioned by police after footage showed him chanting “we hate Salim Tuameh, we hate Arabs” along with fans during last week’s cup final celebrations.

The case was brought to the attention of the State Prosecutor by the New Israel Fund’s anti-racism campaign. Ben Shushan publicly apologised to Tuameh and said that the chant did not reflect how he feels towards Arabs. If charged, he could face up to 12 months in prison.
Eyal Berkovic has turned down an offer to manage Betar Jerusalem.
Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Netanya and Bnei Yehuda will represent Israel in next season’s Europa Cup.

Last updated: 4:56pm, June 11 2009