THE UGLY side of the beautiful game once again reared its head on Sunday as a referee was forced to abandon a Jewish football cup tie. According to the League’s Referees Secretary Andy Myerson, Paul Dobkin was verbally abused by Faithfold B players, questioned over his ability to officiate a game, and manhandled by their manager, before he’d had enough with 70 minutes on the clock. As for the accused, the Faithfold manager blamed the referee for spoiling the game, and while not condemning his players, went the other way and condoned them insisting there was no need to apologise. But it’s the fact it happened at all which is the most damaging thing. League Chairman David Wolff summed it up perfectly, calling it a terrible image for Jewish football, and that’s the most damning indictment of all.
IT SEEMS some people took Israel’s failure to qualify for the European Championship play-off better than others. The Israel Football Association have announced that it would look into reports that several players went to a casino next to their hotel following the defeat in Brussels. If found guilty, players could face disciplinary action if it’s determined that they broke the national team’s ethical code.
TALK ABOUT changing like the wind. Israel’s windsurfers weren’t going to the World Championships in Oman, then they decided they would, then they found out they weren’t. The Israelis were partially at fault, with Security Agency, Shin Bet initially deeming it wasn’t safe for them to travel there. The Israeli Sailing Association then took hold of the situation, saying they would send three athletes, before being told it was too late to be issued visas. Accusations of anti-Semitism have been levied towards Oman, but in this instance it seems it was more incompetence than anything else – from both sides. At least they won’t face similar issues next year, well at least the Israelis won’t with Eilat playing host.