Local Soccer: Ben-Shushan to face IFA disciplinary court

Betar Jerusalem claims focus on striker's anti-Arab chant has spiralled out of control.

Amit Ben-Shushan 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Amit Ben-Shushan 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Betar Jerusalem forward Amit Ben-Shushan will face the Israel Football Association disciplinary court next Wednesday after being charged on Tuesday for making racist remarks during his club's State Cup celebrations last month. Ben-Shushan was caught on camera singing racist songs with Betar fans at Teddy Stadium following the team's 2-1 victory in the cup final over Maccabi Haifa. The 24-year-old apologized for his behavior, but IFA prosecutor Shalom Eben-Ezra decided nevertheless to press charges and Ben-Shushan is expected to be punished by the court next week. "Both the player and the club have apologized for this incident several times," a Betar statement read. "As we've said before, this matter has gotten completely out of hand and there's no reason for the IFA to discipline the player." Meanwhile, Betar chairman Itzik Kornfein met with businessmen Ronen Levy and Avi Katz on Tuesday to discuss their wish to invest in the club next season. In other soccer news, Hapoel Tel Aviv goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was close to signing for Premier League giant Arsenal, according to his agent. The 26-year-old Nigerian's agent Tony Martich claimed that Enyeama agreed to personal terms with Arsenal, but the deal broke down after Hapoel demanded two million euros for the transfer. Also Tuesday, Maccabi Haifa held its first training session of the new season. Haifa begins its Champions League qualification campaign in less than a month and decided to return to training after just two weeks of holiday. "We didn't have much time to rest, but we're all happy to be back," coach Elisha Levy said. "We had an amazing season, but that is now history. We will do all we can to progress to the Champions League group stage." Haifa has yet to sign any new players, but Levy is hoping to strengthen the squad in the coming weeks. "It's not that simple to sign players quickly," Levy said. "We need to improve our squad and we're aiming to emulate last season's success as well as progress in Europe." Captain Yaniv Katan was happy to be back in training. "It was I short holiday, but it was enough for me," Katan said. "We have a chance to reach the Champions League group stage, but we first must see who we draw. We always aim for excellence and we will work hard to succeed on all fronts."