It’s been a tough week for so many people. Truth be told, I almost fell out of love with football over the incident involving Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba. It really hit me for six and I’ve been feeling flat all week.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, events in Toulouse put me at rock bottom. I can’t imagine how the families must be feeling. My heart goes out to them.
The one thing it has done is pull the football family and the Jewish people closer together. Although the two incidents are totally incomparable, we have been united in grief.
Given the outpouring of vitriol and hatred on the football terraces this season, it’s a shame that it needed such a horrible incident to make supporters across the globe take a step back and put things into some kind of perspective. And they say these things happen for a reason.
Then there is the question of what would’ve happened if the Muamba incident had taken place in one of the Maccabi Leagues. The consequences are not worth thinking about. Heaven forbid but that could have been your child.
Now is the time for the MSFL, the MJSL and the MJFL to wake up and take note. It’s good to hear that the Masters League have already taken action and I urge anyone who plays any sport to have regular checks. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I recall the harrowing scenes in Vienna last year when Team GB doctor Marc Wittenberg rushed on to the pitch to help clear the airwaves of a German footballer at the European Maccabi Games .
With this in mind, Maccabi GB have announced they will be running extra first aid courses for managers, referees and other officials involved in the MSFL. For details, email: Janice@maccabigb.org. I will be doing it.
* A special mention goes to Michael Drucker who recently completed an incredible journey to finish the Jerusalem Marathon. Quite incredibly, Michael, who is 46 and from Edgware, lost 13 stones in 14 months and managed to cross the line in just over five hours in his first marathon.
What made Michael’s efforts all the more special was that his mother had been undergoing treatment at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Medical Centre, and has been told by her doctors that the treatment was successful and that she was in partial remission.
Having raised £4,000 for SHALVA, Michael said: "The run was really emotional for me, not just because of how far I had come in the past two years, but also, that my mum could be at the finishing line to give me a hug. It was a real celebration of life for us both."