Beitar Jerusalem owner Eli Tabib.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Eli Tabib’s ownership of Beitar Jerusalem will be reevaluated by the Israel Football Association after he was convicted on Thursday of assaulting a minor and obstruction of justice at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
Tabib was found guilty of attacking a minor with his bodyguard outside his home in March 2012 and erasing the footage of the incident from his computer after it was captured by his security cameras.
The teenager was protesting against Tabib’s ownership of Hapoel Tel Aviv as part of a long and relentless campaign by many of the club’s fans aimed at ousting the then-owner.
Tabib ultimately left Hapoel a few months later in the summer of 2012 and took control of Beitar Jerusalem last summer, ending Arkadi Gaydamak’s eight years as boss.
The deal was approved by the Israel Football Association’s Budget Control Authority last July, with the BCA deciding that Tabib should not be prohibited from owning a club despite facing charges for attacking a minor and obstruction of justice.
However, the BCA added that should he be convicted, the matter will be reevaluated.
“The IFA is sad to hear of Eli Tabib’s conviction,” read an IFA statement. “The question of whether he is permitted to continue to be an owner will be considered after the court gives its final verdict.”
The judge will hand Tabib his punishment on July 9, with the prosecution demanding to sentence him to community service.
Tabib did his best to look composed after hearing of Thursday’s ruling, claiming it will have no effect on his ownership of Beitar.
“I’m relaxed,” he said. “I accept the court’s ruling and will read the verdict before deciding what to do next. I will continue to be the owner of Beitar Jerusalem. Beitar fans can relax. I’m a strong man and I have dealt with a lot in my life so this is peanuts for me.”
Tabib lost in court for a second straight day on Thursday after the Labor Court ruled on Wednesday that he can’t fine his players a full month’s salary.
Tabib wanted to deduct an entire month’s pay after the players went on strike at the end of last season and refused to show up for training following repeated delays in the payment of their salaries.
The court ruled that Tabib can fine the players no more than two percent of their salary, as they were only on strike for less than a day. The players are still awaiting to receive their salary for the month of April as well as May.
Beitar will hold its campaign- opening press conference on Sunday before beginning pre-season training on Monday.