The saga of the summer in Israeli sport finally ended on Saturday after Yogev
Ohayon and Maccabi Tel Aviv put months of squabbling behind them and signed a
new three-year contract.
After not getting the raise he had hoped for
following a breakthrough season, the 25-year-old guard claimed he had a clause
allowing him to leave this summer and agreed to a lucrative deal with Russian
club Lokomotiv Kuban.
Maccabi vehemently rejected any such suggestion and
the matter had to be decided in arbitration.
Ohayon’s agents and Maccabi
officials exchanged insults for months before FIBA Secretary General Patrick
Baumann eventually ruled unequivocally in Tel Aviv’s favor last
Maccabi was nevertheless leaning towards releasing Ohayon for a
hefty fine, only for the sides to ultimately resolve their differences in a late
night meeting and agree to a new long-term contract.
“I would like to
apologize and say that I regret all that happened,” a clearly emotional Ohayon
said on Saturday night in an hastily organized press conference at Nokia
“My decisions came as a result of misinformation. That resulted in
a conduct which tarnished my name and everything I have achieved in my
Maccabi co-owner David Federman welcomed Ohayon back with open
“At the end of the day Yogev is where he should be,” Federman
“He is at the club that will take care of him and his career and a
club which wants him for the right reasons.”
Ohayon’s contract for the
coming season will pay him the amount he was set to get according to the
original deal he signed last year, but he will receive a significant raise in
the following two years.
“I decided that I want to stay at Maccabi for
many years,” Ohayon said. “I could have left had I wanted to, but I chose to
“Only a fool would not learn from the mistakes I made this summer.
I take all the responsibility. My agents chose a certain path and I went with
them. I just want to put all of this behind me and focus on playing for