IT WOULD seem lightning has struck twice after another Maccabi League football team were caught with their shorts down. Maybe not literally, but several players were spotted urinating at half-time at Chase Lodge last week, which led chairman David Wolff to send an email to all the MGB(S)FL teams, reminding players as to where they can, and cannot relieve themselves. Several years ago Temple Fortune had a similar issue on their hands, which ultimately resulted in them being forced to leave their home of seven years at Childs Hill Park. There really is a time and a place for everything.
MACCABI Tel Aviv’s reward for reaching the knockout stage of the Europa League for the first time in their history is a return meeting with an anti-Israel footballer. Monday’s draw saw them handed a tie against Swiss side FC Basel. A side full of quality – they knocked Spurs out of the Europa League last season and twice beaten Chelsea this season in the Champions League – they are also one with a highly controversial figure. When the two sides met earlier this season in a Champions League qualifier, which the Swiss won 4-3 on aggregate, their Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah, on arriving in Israel for the second leg, said “I consider myself going to play in Palestine, not Israel”. He also refused to shake hands with the Israeli players in the pre-match line-up. Safe to say he can expect a hostile reception in February.
CREDIT to FIFA who have banned Croatian defender Josip Simunic from next year’s World Cup after he made pro-Nazi chants in a match last month. Football’s world governing body handed him a 10-game ban – ruling him out of the tournament in Brazil – for using a “salute that was used during World War II by the fascist ‘Ustase’ movement”. A statement read: “As a consequence, the committee agreed that this salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning race, religion or origin.” The Croatian FA are looking to appeal.