Local Soccer: Betar coach Atar's future in doubt

The future of Betar Jerusalem coach Reuven Atar continued to be shrouded in mystery on Tuesday, with the club still under the shadow of Monday's embarrassing 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Hapoel Tel Aviv. Graffiti sprayed overnight on the walls of Betar's training ground in Bayit Vegan called for Atar's resignation and it seems as though the club's management is hoping he quits as well. Rumors abounded that Atar may be replaced by former Betar youth team coach Guy Azuri, who spent a few months as Maccabi Petah Tikva coach before being sacked earlier this season. The name of ex-Betar coach Itzhak Schum, who was sacked at the start of the season, also came up. But Betar is struggling financially and chairman Itzik Korenfein is hoping to avoid a further expense by sacking yet another coach. On Monday, Atar tried to explain what happened to his team against its arch-rival at Bloomfield Stadium, but nothing he said could excuse the humiliation. "We embarrassed the club," Atar said. "We tried to play with an offensive line-up, but it didn't work. What happened to us was very frustrating and disappointing. Hapoel was much better than us. I have plenty to say, but now isn't the time." Betar's next game is away at Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the State Cup on Sunday evening. Jerusalem, the defending State Cup champ, will be hoping to get some self-confidence back before the clash against Eli Cohen's side. The team has for the moment, however, lost the support of many of its die-hard fans, with the infamous La Familia supporters group saying it has decided not to travel to Kiryat Shmona. Hapoel Tel Aviv, meanwhile, will play rival Maccabi Tel Aviv in its Cup game on Monday.