WHILE SOME people may find it hard to believe, Israel was once upon a time a (relatively) successful football team. Back in the day, pre-1974 to be precise, the Israelis were part of the Asian Football Confederation. For more than a decade, they were one of the top teams on the continent, winning and hosting the Asian Cup in 1964, and contesting the final on two other occasions. If you think I’m joking, I’d tell you to visit the AFC’s website where there’s a video detailing the history of the Asian Cup – however you won’t see anything about the 1964 tournament as it’s been left out of the video. An AFC spokesman has said the production of the video had been sourced out to an external agency, which while doesn’t explain Israel’s omission, does to an extent clear them of any blame. Israel of course was forced to leave the AFC and head to Europe’s UEFA Federation – via a brief sojourn in the Oceania confederation – as the Arab and Muslim countries refused to play them. They were excluded from AFC competitions in 1974, following a proposal by Kuwait, which was voted 17-13 in favour of, with six abstentions. Whoever put the video together has ensured the ill-feeling and sentiment shown towards Israel back then is still going strong some 41 years later.
IF YOU want goals on a Sunday morning, it seems AC Mill Hill is the team to watch. Fresh from an epic 5-4 win over FC Team C last weekend, they went one better on Sunday, beating Jewdinese 6-5. And if that wasn’t incredulous enough, they achieved this week’s win the hard way by not only fighting back from a 5-3 deficit, but also doing it with ten men. Daniel Beresford’s side have this weekend off, before they take on table toppers FC Team B next weekend in what promises to be a moutwatering clash between the Division’s top-two sides. Odds on a 7-6 triumph?