CHANGE IS good, or so they say, but that definitely hasn’t been the overriding feeling this week after details emerged of a reformatting of next season’s Peter Morrison Trophy. Looking to make the cup more ‘exciting’, by ‘reinventing’ it and ‘adding some sparkle to it’ – the words of League chairman David Wolff and Chairman of the National Football Committee Laurence Thorne, changes implemented mean teams from the north and south can now meet from the first round, while byes have been given to 14 teams – the ten Premier Division sides in the south, and four from the north as nominated by the Manchester Jewish Soccer League. The backlash has come from MGBSFL managers who have branded the changes ‘stupid’ with the majority feeling the previous set-up was fine as it was. On the plus side, Oakwood joint-player-manager Ric Blank, a Mancunian, has said should his side get drawn against a northern side, his mum won’t mind sticking the kettle on!
THE CURRENT situation in Israel and Gaza has also inevitably had its effect on sport. While a distant second in terms of importance, Israeli teams and sporting organisations have also been counting the cost. UEFA have dictated European club matches have to be played at a neutral venue, Eilat has been stripped of hosting the World Junior Open Water Championships, while Argentina have requested their Davis Cup Play-Off tie be switched. While frustrating from a sporting perspective, these instances are all understandable, However, what does leave a bitter taste in the mouth are the scenes of Yossi Benayoun and his Maccabi Haifa teammates being attacked in a pre-season friendly in Austria, Joey Barton claiming the Israelis have been carrying out “ethnic cleansing”, Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang displaying his ‘Save Gaza’ gloves at the Commonwealth Games and England cricketer Moeen Ali wearing ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ wristbands. Israeli sportsmen are though fighting their corner. Basketball player Omri Casspi tweeted “600 rockets from Gaza in four days. Numbers don’t lie,” in response to a tweet to him, while Noad Lahat says he’s prepared to swap the UFC ring for the IDF if called up.