OVER THE top football challenges don’t get much more over the top than the one that was witnessed in Israel at the weekend. Bnei Yehuda midfielder Rafi Dahan was on the receiving end of a horrific challenge which has seen him ruled out for anything up to nine months. Accusing Maccabi Haifa’s Ruben Rayos of trying to end his career, Dahan labelled it a criminal act, adding that “Only God will punish Rayos for what he did.” And to compound his misery, Dahan has also had to reschedule his wedding, which was due to take place in the near future. Watch the challenge on our website, and you will see it’s right up there with the likes of the ones on Aaron Ramsey, Eduardo, David Busst and Alf-Inge Haaland. Let’s hope for Dayan’s sake, that unlike the latter two, this moment of madness hasn’t ended his career.
WHILE Israel’s long wait for an appearance at a World Cup goes on – 34 years and counting – they will at least be able to grace one of the great World Cup venues, having announced they’ll be playing a prestigious friendly against Mexico on 28 May. Ironically, it’s their non-appearance in Brazil this summer which has afforded them the opportunity to play at the world-famous Azteca stadium. The Mexican FA released a statement which said: “Given that the majority of the world’s leagues finish their activities on May 26 it was not possible to face a national team qualified for Brazil so we decided the Israeli team was the best option.” The game will also serve as Mexico’s farewell to their fans before they head to Brazil. Fresh from their 3-1 home defeat by Slovakia last week, it could though be an uncomfortable evening for Eli Guttman’s side.