IFA holds emergency meeting over match fixing crisis

Decision comes after five Hapoel Beersheba players arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes.

hapoel beersheba 88 (photo credit: )
hapoel beersheba 88
(photo credit: )
Following the arrest of five Hapoel Beersheba players on suspicion of accepting bribes, the Israeli Football Association held an emergency meeting on Monday and revealed plans to root out match fixing. Chairman Itzhak "Iche" Menahem announced that the IFA has approached private investigation company Weitzman Ya'ar and has requested a comprehensive plan to help put an end to footballer's involvement in illegal gambling. "We've asked Weitzman Yaar to write up a plan that will allow us to track games more closely," Menahem said. "It's regretful that all these incidents have occurred when Israeli soccer was going through such a good period. "We are being criticized by a lot of people, but we are showing that we are taking care of these matters. The IFA isn't equipped to deal with crime organizations, the state and the police should handle such problems." The IFA also divulged on Monday that evidence has surfaced in Weitzman Ya'ar's latest investigations that former Hapoel Kfar Saba goalkeeper Oshri Levy was involved in throwing his side's matches. A decision whether to press charges against Levy will be made by the IFA in the next few days. The IFA also decided on Monday to reject the gambling council's demand that three players will be randomly tested on a lie detector machine at the end of every match that appears on the Toto form. The polygraph testing is not practicable," Menahem said on Monday. "You can't just slander all the players in the country. We have however arranged to meet the gambling council in the coming days to come up with a solution." Meanwhile, Levy spoke publicly for the first time on Monday, telling Channel 10 that he did not fix his side's matches and was not involved in illegal gambling. "I have never fixed a match," Levy said. "It never even crossed my mind. I have illegally betted in the past, but that was a long time ago and only on games from abroad. "I would never do it again. This is a very awkward situation, but I'm certain that when my son is older and I tell him what happened he will be proud of me."