Zahavi released from nat’l team for ‘lack of respect’

Zahavi failed to return to the team’s hotel by midnight, as required, and didn’t show up for the team breakfast on Tuesday morning.

By
March 23, 2011 08:06
1 minute read.
Eran Zahavi

Zahavi released from nat'l team 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Eran Zahavi was cut from the Israel squad on Tuesday for next week’s Euro 2012 matches against Latvia and Georgia, after showing a “lack of respect” to the national team, according to the Israel Football Association.

Zahavi, who has been one of the rising stars of Israeli soccer over the past couple of seasons, was given permission to take part in a family celebration on Monday night, but failed to return to the team’s hotel by midnight, as required, and didn’t show up for the team breakfast on Tuesday morning.

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“The Israel jersey must be respected,” coach Luis Fernandez said.

“Anyone who joins the team must come with the will and respect for the side which represents the entire country.”

Israel faces Latvia in Euro 2012 qualifying at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday night before hosting Georgia three days later Zahavi later apologized for his behavior and claimed that the incident was blown out of proportion.

However, the IFA plans to discipline the midfielder and he could yet be handed a suspension from future Israel games.

In other Israeli soccer news, Betar Jerusalem was deducted one point and fined NIS 60,000 by the Israel Football Association disciplinary court on Tuesday for the racist chants shouted by its fans at Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder Salim Toama during the match between the teams earlier this month.



“We are doing all we can to stop the racist chants,” Betar chairman Itzik Kornfein said after hearing the verdict.

“I’m certain that in the long run we will be able to solve this problem.”

The one-point deduction leaves Betar in 11th place with 31 points.


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