Local Soccer: Matthaus suspended for improper conduct

"I accept the punishment but I don't respect it," Maccabi Netanya coach says.

lothar matthaus 224 88 (photo credit: AP)
lothar matthaus 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Netanya coach Lothar Matthaus was suspended for two matches and handed a NIS 7,500 fine by an Israel Football Association tribunal on Wednesday after being found guilty of improper conduct during his team's 0-0 draw at Hapoel Petah Tikva on Saturday. The German, who also received a suspended sentence of three matches away from the sideline, was sent off by referee Asher Cohen at halftime after the latter claimed that the coach confronted him by the dressing rooms. "I accept the punishment but I don't respect it," Matthaus said. "I think that what I told the fourth official during the match about how there are different rules for home and away teams, is also true for the IFA's tribunal regarding foreign and Israeli coaches." Netanya's owner Daniel Jammer had a far harsher response to the decision. "Lothar's punishment gives me a feeling of disgust," Jammer said. "The referees association is trying to show its power, but sometimes people use power wrongly." The first match Matthaus will miss is Friday's home encounter against Bnei Sakhnin. Netanya is playing a day early to get some rest ahead of Sunday's friendly match against German club Borussia Mönchengladbach in Herzliya. Mönchengladbach, which will be playing with both of its Israeli internationals, Gal Alberman and Roberto Colautti, is a former five-time German champion, but is currently bottom of the Bundesliga. "We are very excited about this match showcasing all that is positive in Israeli soccer," said Matthaus, who began his career at Mönchengladbach. "It will be a pleasure to host this illustrious club in Israel and I hope many thousands will share this experience with us." Entrance to the friendly match will be NIS 10 with all proceeds going to the Peres Center for Peace.