Israel's Abramovich uses football to unite Jerusalem

By James Montague, October 15, 2009

For the past four seasons the terraces of Betar Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium have noisily exalted their saviour. When Arkadi Gaydamak, the controversial Russian-born tycoon, arrived from nowhere to buy the struggling team, he was heralded for restoring the club’s former glories. The fans ignored his colourful background, and lapped up the success. “Arkadi is the Messiah!” they would sing as he bought them back-to-back championships.


Big Ben strikes four for Lions reserves

By Danny Caro, October 12, 2009

Four goals from Ben Ellis capped a superb second half display of crisp passing and clinical finishing as London Lions reserves eventually cruise into the second round of the League Cup with a comprehensive 7-0 victory over Buntingford Town.

With the pitch at Rowley Lane back to its resplendent best, Lions kicked off this first Round League Cup tie full of hope that they could continue their recent good form.


Barda keeps Israel's World Cup hopes alive

By Danny Caro, October 12, 2009

Two goals from Elyaniv Barda kept alive Israel's slim hopes of qualifying for next year's World Cup finals after they beat Moldova 3-1.

The striker made it 10 goals in 18 games in front of just 8,749 fans at the Ramat Gan.

But with group leaders Switzerland and second-placed Greece also winning, Israel must beat Switzerland away on Wednesday and hope Luxembourg to draw or win in Athens if they are to progress.

Barda scored either side of a David Ben Dayan goal as Israel established a three-goal cushion before Denis Calincov's late consolation for the visitors.


Eyal Berkovic lines up Israel manager job

By Danny Caro, October 9, 2009

Eyal Berkovic is stepping up his campaign to become the new Israel manager.

The former Israeli international, who had stints at Southampton, West Ham, Celtic, Manchester City, Blackburn and Portsmouth, was installed as the fans favourite after IFA chairman Avi Luzon announced that current boss Dror Kashtan would not have his contract renewed after Israel’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Avram Grant was Luzon’s choice to replace Kashtan but the former Chelsea manager was this week installed as Director of Football at Portsmouth, leaving the door open for Berkovic.


Abramovich leads Jewish football rich list

By Danny Caro, October 9, 2009

Three of football’s wealthiest people are Jewish, according to new research.

With an estimated fortune of £7.8bn, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, 42, heads the Jewish delegation, retaining third position in the 2009 Rich List.

Trailing Lakshmi Mittal (£18.4bn) and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (£17bn), the father-of-five has reportedly made more than £600m in the past 12 months.

But the economic downturn has seen huge losses to even the biggest fortunes.


Baddiels use film to tackle football hate

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Comedian David Baddiel and his writer brother, Ivor, are making a short film in a bid to curb antisemitism in football.

The Y Word is a two-minute film which will feature Premiership footballers and highlight the use of the word “Yid” in football chants.

The brothers, both keen Chelsea fans, are now rounding up footballers to feature in the film, which has the backing of the FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Premier League and campaigners Kick Racism out of Football. The plan is to screen it before matches with a likely completion early next year.


Junior Lions demolish Chipperfield Corinthians

October 8, 2009

Five goals from Dominic Feldman inspired London Maccabi Lions Under 13s to an 8-1 demolition of Chipperfield Corinthians in the West Herts League. Ben Myers, Adam Abadi and Sam Robbins completed the rout.

Alexander Bazar-Rosen and Jake Bluston were on the mark as LML Unders 10s beat Hemel Panthers in the Yellow Division.

Nathan Kaye, Sam Morgan, Jack Miller and an own goal helped LML Under Nine’s tame Harpenden Cougars.

In the Watford Friendly League, Harry Davis (2), Charlie Cohen, Nick Landsberg and an own goal earned LML Blue Under 16s a 5-3 win over Croxley.


Union unites

October 8, 2009

The UJS is holding its second national students-only five-a-side JUefa Cup tournament in Birmingham on October 25. There will also be a girls’ tournament, a Crossbar Challenge and BBQ, along with prizes including tickets for a Real Madrid match at the Bernabeu. For more details see or email


Israeli football fans lose faith in World Cup dream

By Simon Griver and Danny Caro, October 8, 2009

Israel’s players may not have given up hope of reaching the 2010 World Cup finals, but it seems that their supporters have.

Only 5,000 fans are expected to turn up in Ramat Gan tomorrow for the penultimate Group Two qualifier against Moldova, leaving 35,000 seats unfilled.

Lying fourth in the group, Israel need a miracle to clinch a top two finish. They conclude the campaign in Switzerland, the current leaders, in what could be a decisive match.


Avram Grant rejoins Portsmouth

By Danny Caro, October 7, 2009

Avram Grant has been reinstalled as Director of Football at Premier League strugglers Portsmouth.

The former Chelsea manager, 54, joined the Fratton Park club in the same role in June 2006, just months after stepping down from the Israel national job.

The appointment was made days after billionaire Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj bought the club.