Yuval Naim 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Yuval Naim’s tenure as Betar Jerusalem coach came to an unceremonial ending on
Wednesday night following a meeting with club chairman Itzik
Betar dropped to its third straight defeat on Tuesday, losing
4-3 in a penalty shootout to National League side Bnei Lod in the last 32 of the
However, it is Betar’s struggles in the Premier League that
cost Naim his job, with the yellow- and-black just two points above the
relegation zone after losing its last two league matches, being humbled by both
Hapoel Rishon Lezion and Bnei Sakhnin.
There was much speculation Naim
would be sent packing should his team lose to Lod, but he sounded convinced he
would still be on the sidelines for Jerusalem’s visit to Hapoel Ramat Hasharon
on Saturday, saying: “I’m not going anywhere.
For two months people have
been saying I’m on my way out, but as far as I’m concerned I’m
However, he stormed out of Betar’s training complex at Beit
Vegan on Wednesday after hearing that Kornfein had inquired with other coaches
if they were interested in taking charge of Jerusalem. The two will hold a press
conference on Thursday morning to explain why he is leaving.
would like to see Dror Kashtan or Moti Ivanir take Naim’s place, but neither
have any intention of doing so this season, leaving assistant Hanan Azulai to
guide the team in the meantime.
Naim joined Betar right before the start
of the season following David Amsalem’s resignation.
Jerusalem fans were
on cloud nine after the team won three of its first four matches, but the
yellow-and-black quickly found itself battling relegation after taking all three
points in just one of its subsequent 15 games.
Betar climbed out of the
relegation zone with three consecutive wins, but its last two league defeats
combined with the loss to Lod were the last straw for Kornfein and the fans
calling for Naim’s head in recent weeks ultimately got their wish.