NORSTAR LONDON Raiders finally claimed the Premier Division title on Sunday morning and there can be no argument that it was a deserving win for the best team in Jewish football this season. Achieving the title by winning the most games, scoring the most goals and conceding the fewest, you’d be hard pressed to find an argument against them not being worthy of their new status. Even Hendon manager David Garbacz offered his ‘enormous congratulations’ saying they fully deserved it, being the most consistent team this year. That though will be as far as the niceties go. The two sides clash next weekend in the Cyril Anekstein final where Raiders will be looking to complete a league & cup double, while Hendon will be looking to complete the first step of a cup double. Let battle recommence.
THE NEVER-EVENDING saga of Israel being allowed to play international football continues, though the latest developments are more positive for the Israelis. With the Palestinians upping their bid to have Israel suspended from FIFA, UEFA President Michel Platini has put his – and European Football Governing’s Body – weight behind Israel following talks with officials from the Israeli Football Association (IFA). While not commenting himself on the matter, the IFA said the Frenchman told their chairman Ofer Eini that UEFA will do whatever it can to help Israel and that if it went to a vote at FIFA congress, would stand by them. A statement said: “Platini stressed that Israel is an inseparable part of UEFA and is an equal member that is welcome in the UEFA family.” If it did go to a vote, two thirds of the voters would have to vote in favour of the motion and if passed Israel would become only the second country to be exiled from FIFA on political grounds after apartheid-era South Africa in the 1960s. That though, thanks to Platini’s remarks, seems to be a long way off. Next for IFA officials, a meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.