FIFA suspends national coach over debt to Qatar club

Fernandez banned from sidelines over long-standing financial dispute; says problem will be solved before next Euro 2012 qualifying matches.

Israeli soccer NATIONAL TEAM coach Luis Fernandez 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Israeli soccer NATIONAL TEAM coach Luis Fernandez 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Israel coach Luis Fernandez was suspended by FIFA on Thursday over a debt he owes to a club in Qatar.
FIFA informed the Israel Football Association of the ban on Thursday, saying it is being enforced because Fernandez has not obeyed a November 2009 ruling by the governing body’s disciplinary committee.
However, the Frenchman, who began coaching Israel last May, said he believes the problem will be solved before Israel’s 2012 European Championship qualifying matches against Latvia and Georgia on March 26 and 29, respectively.
“This is a legal battle that has been ongoing for years. I am certain that matters will be settled certainly by the time of the matches at the end of March,” he said.
Fernandez has a longstanding financial dispute with Qatari club Al Rayyan which he coached in 2005.
IFA chairman Avi Luzon, who is a UEFA executive committee member, will meet Fernandez and his lawyers next week.
“Together we will see how to resolve the problem that has arisen,” Luzon said.
The IFA released a statement confirming it had been in contact with FIFA over the issue.
“The Football Association today received an official request from FIFA in the matter of Luis Fernandez saying he must immediately stop all activity concerning football due to a debt he owes a club he coached in Qatar in the past.”