Israel soccer coach Gutman names national squad for Shefayim camp

Toto Tamuz and Yossi Benayoun were called up while Beram Kayal and the injured Lior Refaelov were dropped.

August 29, 2014 17:36
1 minute read.
Yossi Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun will play his first Premier League match for Maccabi Haifa since 2002 next Monday and the Greens’ fans are thrilled.. (photo credit: MACCABI HAIFA FACEBOOK PAGE)

Despite the postponement of its Euro 2016 qualifying opener against Belgium, the Israel national team will hold a three-day training camp in Shefayim starting on Monday.

National team coach Eli Gutman named a 27-man squad for the camp on Friday, calling up Toto Tamuz and Yossi Benayoun while dropping Beram Kayal and the injured Lior Refaelov.

Israel was scheduled to host Belgium in its Group B opener on September 9 at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, but the match was moved to March 31, 2015 last week because of the security situation.

Due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas the encounter was set to be relocated to Cyprus. However, the Israel Football Association asked the Belgian FA to postpone the match instead, and the Belgians agreed in a sporting gesture.

Israel’s friendly match against world champion Germany which was set for March 25 will now be played at a later date, with the blue-and- white to also host Wales in a qualifier in Haifa on March 28.

Following last week’s decision, Israel will open its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign at Cyprus on October 10.

Tamuz hasn’t played for the national team since October 2007, but was called up following his excellent form for Romanian club Petrolul Ploiesti.

Benayoun seemed destined to end his international career after making his 95th appearance for Israel against Mexico in May, breaking the national team record. However, he is back playing regularly after his return to Maccabi Haifa this summer and looks set to be part of the squad when Israel begins its Euro 2016 qualifiers in October.

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