Maccabi Tel Aviv, Yogev Ohayon reach deal

The saga of the summer in Israeli sport finally ended after Yogev Ohayon signed a new three-year contract.

September 23, 2012 06:31
1 minute read.

ISRAELI GUARD Yogev Ohayon 370. (photo credit: (Basketball Federation of Serbia)


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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.

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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 Monday.

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 Arena.

“My decisions came as a result of misinformation. That resulted in a conduct which tarnished my name and everything I have achieved in my career.”

Maccabi co-owner David Federman welcomed Ohayon back with open arms.

“At the end of the day Yogev is where he should be,” Federman said.

“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 stay.

“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 Maccabi.”

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