Football

Israel manager under investigation for smuggling

By Simon Griver, January 6, 2010

Outgoing Israel manager Dror Kashtan is under investigation for smuggling tens of thousands of shekels worth of alcohol and cigarettes into Israel

A spokesman for Israel's Tax Authority has confirmed Kashtan was questioned today for the first time on the matter.

The alleged offences took place over several years on trips with the national team and on privately.

A Tax Authority spokesman said: “We cannot reveal details of the investigation but we can say that the investigation began some time ago and not today.

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Ex-Spurs boss Ramos touted for Israel job

By Simon Griver, January 6, 2010

Juande Ramos, the former Spurs and Real Madrid manager, is being touted as the next manager of Israel.

Recently sacked by CSKA Moscow, Ramos was asked about the Israel job by Spanish journalists. He said: “I have not been approached officially but such an offer could interest me.”

Galatasaray boss Frank Rijkaard has also been sounded out for the post but his salary demands were too high.

Israel FA Chairman Avi Luzon said: "We are not yet negotiating with anybody but the next Israel manager will be a foreign coach."

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Iran official resigns over Israel email

By James Martin, January 4, 2010

One of Iran’s top sports officials has resigned after his emailed New Year’s greetings to members of world football’s governing body was mistakenly forwarded to Israel’s football federation.

Mohammad Mansour Azimzadeh Ardebili sent the message through the sport’s governing body, FIFA. It was intended to go to all FIFA members except Israel, but was reportedly forwarded to the Israel Football Association, too.

Ardebili was a spokesman for the Iranian Football Federation (FFI).

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Gershfield inspires Wingate

By Paul Lerman, January 4, 2010

James Gershfield helped Wingate & Finchley put a bad week behind them with a thumping 4-0 victory over lowly Leyton in the Ryman League Division One North.

In a match dominated by the Blues, Gershfield, who came on at the start of the second half, scored one and terrorised the Leyton defence with a display that typified his Maccabiah Games selection last summer.

In a win that lifted Wingate into ninth in the table, the first chance fell to Jake Furman but from 10 yards, he sliced his shot wide.

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Ben Sahar returns to Israel to do army duty

December 30, 2009

Israeli international Ben Sahar has returned to Israel to begin his IDF service.

The 20-year-old striker, who plays for La Liga club Espanyol, began his army career as a youth motivational speaker this week.

He will be allowed to complete his service during his holidays in Israel, over a number of years, thanks to a change in army rules that allows “gifted athletes” based abroad to do their service over a longer period of time.

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When the season re-starts we’ll all be playing catch-up

By Danny Caro, December 30, 2009

Maccabi League footballers return to action after the two-week winter break. Managers across the MSFL hope that their players return with no sign of a hangover or over-indulgence as a result of end-of-year celebrations.

As the oldest representative present at the North London Raiders Chanucah party, I made sure that the players were on their best behaviour. It was Diet Cokes all round although it’s clear that B team manager Rob Richman was a bit more daring during his recent stag weekend in Tenerife where he spent one day dressed up as Mickey Mouse.

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Nir Klinger sacked from Limassol club - because of Yom Kippur?

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Nir Klinger has been sacked as coach of Cypriot club AEL Limassol, amid speculation that the club has been looking to get rid of him ever since he missed a crucial derby match because it fell on Yom Kippur.

The 44-year-old and his assistant, fellow Israeli Felix Naim, missed September’s match against Anorthosis Famagustas for religious reasons after the club’s attempt to move the game failed.

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Avram Grant's anger at African Cup losses

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has expressed anger at losing four key men to the African Cup of Nations.

He is without Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Nwankwo Kanu and Aruna Dindane until as late as the start of February when the tournament is completed. He is relieved that John Utaka and Kevin-Prince Boateng were not called up by Nigeria and Ghana respectively.

Speaking after the Boxing Day 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham, he said: “I don’t know why FIFA allows this tournament to go ahead in January. We pay a lot of money to big players who are not here for two months.”

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Bayern Munich chase Haifa's Golasa

By James Martin, December 23, 2009

Maccabi Haifa’s teenage sensation Eyal Golasa has reportedly attracted the interest of German giants Bayern Munich.

German newspaper Bild claim that Munich are facing competition from fellow Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen for his signature.

The 18-year-old midfielder impressed scouts of the Bavarian giants with a number of outstanding performances during Haifa's Champions League campaign and Munich are reportedly keen to add Golasa to their squad in the summer of 2010.

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Bafana Bafana quit MSFL

By Danny Caro and James Martin, December 23, 2009

Premier Division Bafana Bafana have become the fourth team to fold this season, with player-manager Adam Gishen reluctantly pulling out the MSFL side because he was “struggling to field a team”.

The club, which finished seventh last year, were lying second bottom with a win and draw from six games. And Gishen admitted this week: “It’s stopped being fun.”

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