Analysis: ITA raids IFA HQ's in latest attempt to nab refs

List of players, numbers by their names turns out to be no more than information regarding salaries.

Pini Gershon 311 (photo credit: AP)
Pini Gershon 311
(photo credit: AP)
The Income Tax Authority continued to widen itsinquiry into the Israeli sporting world on Wednesday, raiding theIsrael Football Association offices based on suspicions that refereesevaded taxes on money earned for officiating matches abroad.

"Two investigators from the Tax Authority arrivedat the IFA offices apparently as part of the Tax Authority'sinvestigation into money earned abroad by referees," the IFA said. "Wewere asked to hand over information and documents. We will cooperatefully with the investigation."

The raid on the IFA offices comes in the wake of the alleged tax evasion by several of Israel's basketball referees.

Referee Sami Bachar admitted to evading paying taxes two weeksago and was released by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court after postingNIS 550,000 bail.

Yaron Zarif, another of Israel's top basketball referees, posted NIS 600,000 bail last week for the same reason.

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Pini Gershon was questioned by the TaxAuthority for a second time last week over suspicions that he evadedtax during his tenure as Olympiacos coach.

Gershon was initially questioned regarding the ongoing investigation into Moni Fanan's financial affairs.

Fanan, a former Maccabi Tel Aviv vice chairman and team manager,committed suicide in October after incurring debt estimated at morethan $20 million in a long-running investment scheme he had allegedlybeing operating.

It was reported on Tuesday that a notebook had been found inwhich Fanan documented investments he received from Maccabi playersdown the years. However, the list of players and the numbers by theirnames turned out to be no more than information regarding theirsalaries at the club.