Israeli soccer may have changed forever on Sunday after Premier League owners
agreed to set up an independent body to run the top flight and work together
towards a brighter future for the local game.
The chairmen of the Premier
League’s clubs agreed to work in cooperation with the Israel Football
Association, but announced that the new body will control all financial and
“We have decided to set up a body which will work
towards finding the solutions needed to improve soccer in Israel,” Maccabi Haifa
owner Jacob Shahar announced in a statement he read out on behalf of all the
owners after exiting Sunday’s meeting at Kfar Maccabiah.
“This body will
take care of the commercial and financial issues of the professional league.
This move will be done in cooperation with the Israel Football Association and
for that purpose we have chosen Alona Barkat (Hapoel Beersheba), Jacky Ben-Zaken
(Ashdod SC), Gil Lev (Maccabi Netanya), Izzy Sheratzky (Ironi Kiryat Shmona) and
Jacob Shahar to meet with IFA chairman Avi Luzon in the coming
Shahar and the rest of the chairmen also denounced the protest
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans have mounted in recent months against owner Eli Tabib,
which has resulted in the latter declaring that he will leave the club, putting
it up for sale.
Only Hapoel Petah Tikva and Maccabi Petah Tikva, run by
the Luzon family, didn’t send representatives to Sunday’s meeting, which was
held following the recent violent brawls that have marred the local game and the
growing discontent among many involved in Israeli soccer with the IFA’s
“It is a big achievement to have brought 14 of the league’s 16
chairmen to meet around one table,” said Ben-Zaken. “If we work together we will
be able to move forward and find solutions to our problems.”
hearing of Sunday’s decisions, Luzon said that he would accept the new body as
long as it guarantees that every one of the clubs will end up receiving more
money than it does at the moment and that it won’t take control until the
2013/14 season, explaining that such a change requires time.
Betar Jerusalem continued its sensational run, beating Hapoel Ramat Hasharon 1-0
on the road for its seventh straight win.
Avi Rikan scored the only goal
of the match from the edge of the area after a nifty team move in the 81st
minute, taking Betar up to ninth place above Ramat Hasharon.