Eli Gutman 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Eli Gutman is set to officially be named as the new Israel national team coach
on Tuesday after meeting with Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon and
being told that he is the sole candidate for the position.
53-year-old, who has long been the favorite to replace Luis Fernandez, met with
Luzon and his deputy Stern Haluba on Thursday night and the IFA secretariat is
all but guaranteed to unanimously approve his appointment in a vote on
“I met with Avi Luzon and Stern Haluba and presented to them my
professional beliefs,” said Gutman, who has been on a break from coaching since
guiding Hapoel Tel Aviv to the State Cup at the end of last season, a year after
leading the Reds to the Premier League title.
“We agreed on all the
details and I was given their blessing. I’m awaiting the secretariat’s approval.
I asked to begin working in January and my request was accepted.”
Klinger, who left Hapoel Beersheba earlier this season, is the favorite to be
selected as Gutman’s assistant and the two are set to be at the helm for
Israel’s next match, a friendly against Ukraine on February 9.
national team will also play against Germany in June and Hungary in August
before beginning its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in
Israel, which is dreaming of reaching its first World Cup
since 1970, will face Portugal, Russia, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and
Luxembourg in Group F.
“I don’t think anyone can complain about this
appointment,” Israel captain Yossi Benayoun said. “Gutman has proven
himself as one of the best coaches in the country and he deserves to guide
Israel. I’m very happy for him.”