Portsmouth's manager Grant gestures before their EPL soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor in BurnleyAVRAM GRANT’S appointment as manager of the Ghana football team has been welcomed by many of the country’s players and its Football Association. You can now add the Israeli Ambassador to the African state, Sharon Bar-li to that list. Believing the 54-year-old’s arrival in Accra will strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries, she said: “First of all it is good for both countries, we can call it sports diplomacy if you like. It’s another level of co-operation and collaboration between the countries. I can tell you both countries are sharing their passion of football. And I am sure he (Avram Grant) will contribute, due to his experience as someone who’s coached all over the world and the fact that he is Israeli. Israelis have a passion. They do things with lot of motivation and they don’t give up easily. They are good at alternations and findings things that other people might deem impossible, too hard or too difficult. Israelis don’t give up too easily.” With that kind of glowing tribute, you’d think Ghana are a shoe-in for winning next month’s African Cup of Nations. It also makes you wonder why the Israeli national football team are looking to qualify for their first major football tournament in 46 years.

HATS OFF to London Maccabi Lions’ over 35 masters side. Needing a new kit, the team’s footballers looked to do something different and approaching the club, asked if they could do a ‘Barcelona’, where they would chose a charity and then raise the finds themselves to carry their logo on their shirts. And raise money they did as they collected £2,500 for Chai Cancer Care. Imagine how much money – and how many charities could benefit if other football teams in the community followed suit?