Members of Israel's national soccer squad..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s tenth president Reuven Rivlin is arguably the greatest football fan to occupy the President’s Residence.
A former manager of Beitar Jerusalem, whose great regret is that he can’t go to Saturday games while he is president, Rivlin is concerned about the rise in violence throughout the country in general and at soccer matches in particular.
Within the framework of this concern Rivlin on Friday spoke to Eli Guttman the manager of Israel’s national team which will play on Sunday against Bosnia at the Sammy Ofer stadium in Haifa in a Euro 2015 qualifying match.
In his conversation with Guttman, Rivlin made the point that the national football team symbolizes Israel in its diversity and that local rivalries are cast aside in the united ambition to win.
Rivlin noted that just as there are highs and lows in Israeli society, the same holds true on the soccer field. He urged Guttman to make sure that the national team sets a good example and remains a source of pride for the entire population.
Guttman said he would convey the president’s message to the team, and voiced the hope that in their next conversation Rivlin would be able to congratulate the Israeli team on its victory. He promised to do all that was possible to make that happen.
Rivlin promised that he would be glued to the television set during the match.