Euro 2008: Kashtan lambasts UEFA over Andorra pitch

National team coach accuses organization of not caring about minor teams after Israelis forced to play on waterlogged site.

Dror Kashtan 224.88 (photo credit: )
Dror Kashtan 224.88
(photo credit: )
Israel national team coach Dror Kashtan has accused UEFA of not caring about minor teams after the Israelis were forced to play on a waterlogged pitch during its Euro 2008 qualifer in Andorra on Wednesday The team returned home on Thursday afternoon after a successful week in which it picked up six points with victories over Macedonia and Andorra. But the puddles of water all over the field at the 838 capacity Estadi Comunal angered Kashtan, especially when England already faced Andorra at the higher quality Olimpico de Montjuic in Barcelona which holds 56,000 people. "I can't understand how UEFA approved such a pitch. It's a disgrace," Kashtan said. "Croatia won't play here, England didn't play here, but nobody gives a damn about the small teams." The national team has now amassed 17 points from its first eight qualifiers, a seemingly impressive total. However, all five of the team's wins have come against the minnows of the group, Macedonia, Estonia and Andorra. The blue-and-white has only claimed two points in its three matches against the group giants, losing to Croatia and drawing with Russia and England. Israel's situation is further complicated by the fact that the team has already hosted Croatia and England and will need to face both sides away from home in its next two qualifiers. The national team hosts Russia and Macedonia in its final two qualifiers, but will need to first pick up points in at least one of its two away matches to retain any chance of qualification. "We're in a good position after claiming six points and that's the most important thing ahead of the England match," assistant coach Moshe Sinai said. "We need to concentrate on the match against England and not on the fact that we will be playing at the new Wembley. "This is a match that could determine the fate of the national team. We need to do all we can to get a positive result," Sinai added. "This campaign has been successful so far, but we need to continue it."