Local soccer returns from extended break

The Premier League returns to full action this weekend following a three week break.

October 21, 2016 10:52
2 minute read.
Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Guy Luzon reveled that he is still waiting to be paid last month’s salary, but

Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Guy Luzon reveled that he is still waiting to be paid last month’s salary, but said he will not use that as an excuse ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at Hapoel Haifa.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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While there is still no end in sight to the troubles plaguing the club off the field, Hapoel Tel Aviv aims to continue and steady matters on it when it visits Hapoel Haifa on Saturday.

The Premier League returns to full action this weekend following a three week break due to international matches and the league’s decision to give the club’s another week off in order to complete the resurfacing of their pitches ahead of winter.

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Tel Aviv beat Hapoel Ashkelon 2-0 in its last match for its first victory of the campaign after going winless in its opening five games.

The win took it off the bottom of the standings, but tensions are still running high at the club, as its problems go far beyond results on the pitch.

Owner Amir Kabiri revealed last month that the club’s deficit stands at NIS 45 million, with players, and in particular lower paid club staff, having the payment of their salaries delayed time and again since Kabiri’s takeover last year.

The 36-year-old has claimed he inherited unknown debts from previous owners.

Luzon revealed on Thursday that he is also still waiting to receive his salary for September, but insisted that the financial situation shouldn’t have an effect on the team’s performance.

“I also haven’t been paid, but that isn’t interesting,” he said. “We need to focus on the match against Hapoel Haifa.”

Luzon said the extended break came at the right time for his team.

“It gave me time to work on some things with the players, both physical and tactical,” he explained.”

Beitar Jerusalem is also looking to combine two consecutive wins for the first time this season on Saturday when it visits rock-bottom Ashdod SC. Beitar beat Hapoel Kfar Saba 1-0 in its last match, and while it has impressed at times this season, it has won only two of six games to date.

Ashdod is the only team yet to have won a match this season.

Also Saturday, Bnei Yehuda hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva, Hapoel Ra’anana visits Hapoel Kfar Saba and Hapoel Ashkelon welcomes Bnei Sakhnin.

Ashkelon coach Yuval Naim didn’t attend Thursday’s training session and may not guide the team on Saturday after his car was vandalized on Wednesday.

Police suspect it is related to an incident involving the club’s youth department.

On Monday, league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Haifa, with reigning champion Hapoel Beersheba, which trails the yellow-and-blue by three points, visiting Ironi Kiryat Shmona.

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