Football

Maccabi leading the way

By Simon Griver, December 22, 2010

Maccabi Haifa ended the first round of 15 Ligat Ha'al matches two points clear of rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv at the top of the 16-team league. Haifa beat Maccabi Netanya 3-0 at Kiryat Eliezer with goals from Tomer Hemed, Eyal Meshumar and Vladimir Dabashvili.

Defending champions Hapoel Tel Aviv kept the pressure on Haifa with a 4-0 win over bottom team Hapoel Ramat Gan at Bloomfield with goals from Ben Sahar, Toto Tamuz, Douglas Da Silva and Shai Abutbul.

More..

'We're top - but nothing has been won yet,' says Mancs boss Simons

December 22, 2010

It has been a case of so far, so good for Manchester Maccabi 3rd who go into 2011 six points clear at the top of the Joan Collins Premier Division.

Martin Simons' side have won nine out of nine as they look to win the title for the first time.

Despite their imperious form, Simons is refusing to make any predictions about his team's title hopes and is wary of the perils that injuries could pose to their challenge.

More..

Ben Haim in limbo

December 22, 2010

Tal Ben Haim's future hangs in the balance after Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill said that he is unsure whether or not he will return to the club next month.

Ben Haim has been on loan at West Ham since August and the Hammers must decide if they want the Israeli defender to extend his loan or take up the option of making the move permanent

Cotterill needs to reduce wage bill at the club relegated from the Premiership last season. He said: "For sure, I would want him here. Anyone would be a good addition to our squad at this moment in time.

More..

Bolton star in mercy dash for Avi

By Simon Griver, December 22, 2010

Tamir Cohen, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder, has been given special dispensation to be at the bedside of father Avi who is in a critical condition in an Israeli hospital following a road accident.

Cohen, 54, suffered severe head injuries after his motorbike was involved in a collision with a car near Ramat Gan on Monday.

Cohen, the first Israeli to play in England, was rushed to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital where he was immediately taken into surgery.

More..

David Bernstein named new FA chairman

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

David Bernstein has been appointed the new chairman of the Football Association (FA).

The Jewish former chairman of Manchester City, 67, was named as the permanent replacement to Lord Triesman, who resigned in May following a scandal.

The choice of Mr Bernstein was a surprise to many as the Jewish former FA and Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein had also been heavily tipped for the position

Mr Bernstein left Manchester City in 2003 after five years to take on a Director role at the revamped Wembley Stadium, where he became chairman in 2008.

More..

Avi Cohen seriously injured in road accident

By Simon Griver, December 20, 2010

Avi Cohen, chairman of the Israel Professional Footballers Association, has been seriously injured in a road accident.

Cohen, 54, was riding a motorbike which was involved in a collision with a car near the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange. The former Liverpool defender was rushed to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital where he was immediately taken into surgery.

Cohen’s son Tamir, who plays for Bolton, has been given leave to return to Israel immediately.

More..

The belief is back, says Sidle

By David Gold, December 16, 2010

Ryan Sidle, assistant-manager of Sporting JLGB, believes that the team has overcome the fear factor after climbing to sixth in the Joan Collins Premier Division following a hard fought win over Oakhill Lions.

A goal from Sam Goodman earned JLGB their fourth consecutive victory in the league's only game to beat the weather.

Sidle, standing in for manager Gavin Sharpe, said: "We are on a good run with four consecutive wins against sides we would consider tough games. Now we're in a position where we go into games believing that we can win."

More..

Gai Assulin joins Manchester City

December 16, 2010

A fifth Israeli has joined the Premier League after Manchester City signed Gai Assulin on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Released by Barcelona last summer, Assulin agreed the deal after convincing City officials that he has returned to fitness following a knee injury.

"I heard a lot about City and as soon as I saw the club I wanted to stay," said Assulin.

The attacking midfielder, dubbed the next Lionel Messi, holds the record as the youngest ever player to represent Israel at 16.

More..

Israel suffers double Davis Cup blow

December 16, 2010

Israel's chances of returning to the Davis Cup World Group took a major hit this week when Harel Levy and Noam Okun announced their retirement from the professional tennis circuit. Both players are aged 32 and are former top 100 stars.

Levy said: "The decision has been taken and I will not carry on playing after March."

More..

Football documentary will put serious issue on the map

By Danny Caro, December 16, 2010

Ivor Baddiel's short film highlighting antisemitism in football launches early next year, and for the people in the community who care passionately about the issue, it cannot come soon enough.

The Y-Word deals with a topic close to the bone among all Jewish supporters, as well as many Sunday morning footballers who have suffered verbal provocation against non-Jewish opposition.

More..