Netanya soccer player held over woman's death

Judge agrees to release suspected soccer player for Saturday game; police delay release in hopes of successful appeal.

Ambulance at site of woman's death in Netanya 370 (photo credit: A. Yaakov/News 24 )
Ambulance at site of woman's death in Netanya 370
(photo credit: A. Yaakov/News 24 )
A foreign player for Maccabi Netanya FC was arrested Wednesday night in connection to the death of a woman whose body was found outside a local hotel earlier in the evening, police said Thursday.
The player, a Congo native, was arrested along with a friend of his. Both of the men were staying at the Carmel Hotel before the woman was found dead Wednesday. Both will appear at the Petah Tikvah Magistrate's Court on Thursday where police will ask the court to keep them in custody while they investigate if they are somehow connected to the 20-year-old woman's death.
Sharon sub-district police are still not saying if the woman was murdered or died by accident or natural causes. At the moment her body is still undergoing an autopsy at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute to determine the cause of death, and if they are signs of a violent death on her body.
A paramedic who was at the scene on Wednesday night said that police were initially describing the death as a suicide, saying that the woman fell from the third floor, only later changing their assessment to that she was thrown from the room after an argument of some sort.
In a statement released on Thursday, Maccabi Netanya FC said "we hope the player was not involved in the affair and regardless we will help police do their job with the hope and belief that the player did not have anything to do with the incident.”
A Petah Tikvah judge agreed to the player's release on house arrest. This judge agreed to hold him one more day pending the police's appeal of the house arrest decision. The player's attorney said the fact that he has a big game coming up this Saturday factored into the judge's original decision to release him.