ISRAEL’S STAGING of the U21 Championships has been hailed as a major success by representatives of both the English and Israeli Football Associations. David Bernstein (pictured right receiving an Israel team shirt), the chairman of the English Football Association, called the tournament
“It’s a great credit to Israel for the way they’ve run this competition – which has been superb,” he said. “It’s a really important tournament for them. It’s not often they get this opportunity and I’ve been very impressed by them,” he added.
Bernstein continued: “I know the players have enjoyed the way they’ve
been looked after and the professionalism throughout has been first class.
“It’s just a shame about the English and Israeli results but there you go –
you can’t have everything!”
The tournament is the biggest international sporting event the county has
ever held. Avi Luzon, the president of the Israeli FA, was one of the key men in
bringing the tournament to Israel.
He said: “I’m very happy with how the tournament has been run – apart
from the first two results!
“It was a good and big project for the Israel Football Association and when we see all the stadium full, it shows what a success it’s been – for
both the fans and for Israeli football.”
Israel’s U21 manager Guy Luzon also believes the tournament was a fantastic
event. He said: “This has been great for Israeli football and the people of Israel. There have been good grounds and they’ve seen some good ootball and great players.”
Even those for whom it was a tournament to forget had nothing but praise for the hosts. England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, who remained
dignified throughout his uncomfortable time in Israel, found space to offer warm words.
As he was coming to the end of a grilling by English journalists in a press conference, he said: “It’s been a great tournament for the hosts. The players have been well looked after, everyone’s been friendly and welcoming it’s been a great tournament in that respect.”