Leeds Maccabi boss claims team were victims of 'a total carve-up’

Leeds Maccabi are considering pulling out of the Manchester Jewish Soccer League after they their title hopes were crushed in controversial circumstances by Maccabi Manchester Masters on the final day of the season, which saw Maccabi Manchester Yellow finish as champions.


The long-time leaders were on course for the quadruple going into the final stages of the season. Having won the Shonn Trophy, manager Ian Selwyn admits his team were “beaten fair and square” by South Manchester Sports and Reich in two other cup finals. But he says what took place in the title-decider against Maccabi will haunt him.

Leeds needed a draw to secure the title against a Masters team Selwyn described as “unrecognisable” from the ones they had played in previous matches this season.

Goals from Jacob Huller, Morgan Yardley, Marcus Buchanan and a 40-yarder from Jordan Kay sealed a 4-0 win for the Masters, meaning Maccabi Yellow lifted the trophy shortly after the final whistle. However, among the players celebrating on the Yellow team were some  who had just helped the Masters shatter Leeds’ title hopes.

“I’m my opinion Maccabi Manchester strategically manipulated the rules about what Maccabi football stands for,” said Selwyn “They knew exactly what they were doing and brought in players from left, right and centre to ensure they won the game. What they did was unbelievable. It was a total carve-up.

“We’d already played the Masters three times this season and beaten them by two goals on each occasion, including one with ten men.”

Selwyn, who is also manager of the MJSL Rep Team, says he “did not recognise” a couple of the Maccabi team, while several others were “regulars for Maccabi Yellows, who lined up for Maccabi Masters in a bid to help the Yellows win the title”.

He said: “What Maccabi Manchester have done is nothing short of disgraceful. I’ve lost all respect for them as a club. They didn’t break any rules but they blatantly manipulated them to win the league with a much-changed team. It goes totally against the spirit of the league.”

“This isn’t a case of sour grapes but now my assistant-manager and several teenagers in our squad don’t want to be involved in the MJSL. They will need a lot of convincing to carry on in this league.

“It’s sad Maccabi were that desperate to win the league and isn’t fair to my players. It was embarrassing and everyone knew it. It should really have been a celebration of the MJSL and had they won on merit, I’d have been the first to congratulate them. I’ve had calls from a couple of their players apologising.”

Maccabi Yellow manager Anton Radiven insists he was “proud” of his team’s victory. He said: Losing a few key players at the beginning of the season was tough but it worked out well in the end.

“We entered two teams into the MJSL to show our support to Jewish football to ensure the league continued to run.”

Radiven says he “understands” Selwyn’s disappointment about the final game, but he declared Maccabi Yellow “did nothing wrong”. He said: “We kept well within the rules and did what we needed to and kept within the spirit of the MJSL by ensuring we played every game. There were times when we had to use different players in different games, but we did this with the full support of the league.

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