Analysis: ITA raids IFA HQ's in latest attempt to nab refs

List of players, numbers by their names turns out to be no more than information regarding salaries.

January 21, 2010 12:27
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Pini Gershon.

Pini Gershon 311. (photo credit: AP)

The Income Tax Authority continued to widen its inquiry into the Israeli sporting world on Wednesday, raiding the Israel Football Association offices based on suspicions that referees evaded taxes on money earned for officiating matches abroad.

"Two investigators from the Tax Authority arrived at the IFA offices apparently as part of the Tax Authority's investigation into money earned abroad by referees," the IFA said. "We were asked to hand over information and documents. We will cooperate fully with the investigation."

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The raid on the IFA offices comes in the wake of the alleged tax evasion by several of Israel's basketball referees.

Referee Sami Bachar admitted to evading paying taxes two weeks ago and was released by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court after posting NIS 550,000 bail.

Yaron Zarif, another of Israel's top basketball referees, posted NIS 600,000 bail last week for the same reason.

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Pini Gershon was questioned by the Tax Authority for a second time last week over suspicions that he evaded tax during his tenure as Olympiacos coach.

Gershon was initially questioned regarding the ongoing investigation into Moni Fanan's financial affairs.

Fanan, a former Maccabi Tel Aviv vice chairman and team manager, committed suicide in October after incurring debt estimated at more than $20 million in a long-running investment scheme he had allegedly being operating.

It was reported on Tuesday that a notebook had been found in which Fanan documented investments he received from Maccabi players down the years. However, the list of players and the numbers by their names turned out to be no more than information regarding their salaries at the club.

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