Soccer: Israel coach Kashtan questioned over alcohol smuggling

Soccer Israel coach Kas

The Tax Authority continued to dominate sports headlines on Wednesday after Israel coach Dror Kashtan was questioned for allegedly smuggling tens of thousands of shekels worth of alcoholic beverages into the country. Kashtan, who will leave his job at the national team in the coming months following his failure to guide the side to World Cup qualification last year, is suspected to have brought in alcohol without paying tax while returning from official trips as Israel coach. The Tax Authority, which has been involved in the current investigation into former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team manager Moni Fanan's alleged multi-million dollar investment scheme, launched its inquiry after Kashtan was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport for illegally failing to declare a number of bottles of alcohol following a recent trip. "This is an innocent mistake made during a personal trip to Moscow last December," a Kashtan press release explained. "Mr. Kashtan immediately agreed to pay the tax after being stopped by customs and he did so. In his investigation today he was presented with past duty free receipts. "Kashtan explained to the investigators that he traveled with a partner in most of those trips and therefore did not spend over the legal limit. Mr. Kashtan told the investigators he made an innocent mistake and he takes responsibility for all the incidents and is willing to pay the tax if he made any other mistakes." Israel Football Association chairman, Avi Luzon, defended the national coach, just 24 hours after calling for him to resign following his failure in the World Cup qualifiers. "Every man is innocent until proven otherwise. I hope he is found to be innocent," Luzon said.