Yuval Naim fired as Betar Jerusalem’s coach

Yellow and Black club spiraling down to relegation zone.

Yuval Naim 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Yuval Naim 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Yuval Naim’s tenure as Betar Jerusalem coach came to an unceremonial ending on Wednesday night following a meeting with club chairman Itzik Kornfein.
Betar dropped to its third straight defeat on Tuesday, losing 4-3 in a penalty shootout to National League side Bnei Lod in the last 32 of the State Cup.
However, it is Betar’s struggles in the Premier League that cost Naim his job, with the yellow- and-black just two points above the relegation zone after losing its last two league matches, being humbled by both Hapoel Rishon Lezion and Bnei Sakhnin.
There was much speculation Naim would be sent packing should his team lose to Lod, but he sounded convinced he would still be on the sidelines for Jerusalem’s visit to Hapoel Ramat Hasharon on Saturday, saying: “I’m not going anywhere.
For two months people have been saying I’m on my way out, but as far as I’m concerned I’m staying.”
However, he stormed out of Betar’s training complex at Beit Vegan on Wednesday after hearing that Kornfein had inquired with other coaches if they were interested in taking charge of Jerusalem. The two will hold a press conference on Thursday morning to explain why he is leaving.
Kornfein would like to see Dror Kashtan or Moti Ivanir take Naim’s place, but neither have any intention of doing so this season, leaving assistant Hanan Azulai to guide the team in the meantime.
Naim joined Betar right before the start of the season following David Amsalem’s resignation.
Jerusalem fans were on cloud nine after the team won three of its first four matches, but the yellow-and-black quickly found itself battling relegation after taking all three points in just one of its subsequent 15 games.
Betar climbed out of the relegation zone with three consecutive wins, but its last two league defeats combined with the loss to Lod were the last straw for Kornfein and the fans calling for Naim’s head in recent weeks ultimately got their wish.