Hap PT reinstated to Premier League; Kfar Saba not quitting

The league gets underway in just over a week on August 20, but Kfar Saba is still refusing to give up on gaining promotion via the courts.

August 10, 2011 05:56
1 minute read.
Hapoel Petah Tikva and Betar Jerusalem, Saturday.

hapoel petah tikva_311. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)


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Hapoel Kfar Saba announced on Tuesday that it will appeal to the District Court after the Israel Football Association’s high court decided to reinstate Hapoel Petah Tikva to the Premier League on Monday night.

Kfar Saba were told last week that they will take Petah Tikva’s place in the top flight after the latter twice failed to meet deadlines to present a mandatory minimum NIS 11.4 million budget.

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However, Petah Tikva, which finished third from bottom last season and won a relegation playoff against Kfar Saba which finished third-top in the second division, appealed to the IFA’s high court against the Budget Control Authority’s ruling and it ultimately got the reprieve it was hoping for on Monday.

The league gets underway in just over a week on August 20, but Kfar Saba is still refusing to give up on gaining promotion via the courts.

“We are not accepting the fact that Kfar Saba will play in the National League this season,” owner Harel Raichman said.

“The decision was affected by the media and didn’t take into account the IFA’s regulations.”

The high court’s three judges said that Petah Tikva deserves special consideration as it went into liquidation last month, as a result of which it will begin the season with a nine-point deduction, adding that the most important thing is that justice is served even if it clashes with formal regulations.

Petah Tikva will already be in action on Wednesday when it faces crosstown rival Maccabi in a Toto Cup derby.

Hapoel will be looking to add several players to its squad before it hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv in its first league match next weekend, but despite the far from ideal preparation, there were smiles and celebrations in Tuesday’s training session following the court’s ruling.

“It is ironic that it was on Tisha Be’av, the day commemorating the destruction of both Temples, that Hapoel Petah Tikva rose from the dead,” captain Gal Cohen said.

“The court took a brave and correct decision because the fate of clubs should only be decided on the pitch.”

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