Manchester Maccabi will take penalty on the chin, says Radiven


THE Manchester County FA have launched a probe into the abandoned MJSL game which saw Manchester Maccabi Yellow walk off in protest at the pitch conditions.

Oakhill Lions were winning 5-0 when Manchester Maccabi Yellow boss Anton Radiven pulled off his players after just 22 minutes.

Radiven feared for his players’ safety – despite referee Adam Cohen deeming the Frederick Road surface playable.

His decision to orchestrate his players to leave the pitch – with MJSL chairman Brian Myers in attendance – stunned Oakhill who were fuming at the call-off.

But Radiven is sticking by the refusal to continue and will accept any misconduct charge thrown at him.

He said: “I have no regrets at taking my players off and will take the charge on the chin.

“I’m just thankful no player from either side picked up a serious injury as that’s the way this game was heading.

“All I care about is that my players are having fun and they are not at risk of serious injury. That was not the case here.

“I’ve never seen a pitch like this in my life. The water was ankle deep in some areas — it was like a swimming pool. I was mortified the league and the referee deemed the pitch playable.

“It wasn’t fit. You couldn’t see the lines. I left it to my players to decide if they wanted to play before we kicked-off and they did.

“Maybe I should have taken that decision out of their hands. I didn’t risk two of my central midfielders and our goalkeeper Ben Newman almost had his head taken off as the ball didn’t roll through to him thanks to the mud.

“There’s no doubt the conditions played a part in their goals. Ben claims he couldn’t get to two of their goals as he couldn’t move his feet in the mud. Once he went over on his ankle I decided enough was enough. It was beyond dangerous.”

The students were heading for a comprehensive win after early strikes from Gal Rowenski (2), Moses Seitler (2) and Osher Landes.

But Radiven hit back at claims that he only failed to complete the fixture due to the scoreline.

Radiven added: “Oakhill are a very good side who most likely would have beaten us anyway but I felt pressurised to start the game.

“Of course Oakhill were not going to be happy. Some of the accusations thrown at me by some of their team were disgraceful. But my biggest gripe is with the referee and the league. You can’t put players at risk like they did.”

Ironically the two sides meet again at the same venue, weather permitting, in Salford on Sunday. Oakhill boss Daniel Rabinowitz insists there is no bad blood between the two teams but is demanding the visitors are punished for taking matters into their own hands.

He said: “I believe this was a tactical move. To rally your players off the pitch is ludicrous, especially when my players had no concerns. If the league and three referees believe the pitch is fit then just get on with it.

“What’s the point of the referee being there if teams can just pick up the ball and walk off?

“I expect us to be given the three points and for Manchester Maccabi Yellow to rightfully be punished. There has to be negative ramifications.”

MJSL secretary Paul Rose admits he was as stunned as anyone to learn of the abandonment.

He said: “I’ve never heard of this happening before and it’s an unfortunate event.”

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