The Israeli sports world continues to face challenges due to the war against Hamas as Israeli athletes continue to be outspoken and show their support for the state while club teams are trying to rearrange their schedules in order to compete in their respective leagues.
Israeli tennis great Andy Ram was very vocal with his thoughts about the lack of support that the tennis world has shown for Israel following the October 7th attacks by Hamas.
“I’m disappointed in [Novak] Djokovic as a father, as a parent, thinking of little kids kidnapped sitting in Gaza. Murdered, burned alive, he should be a little bit sensitive for the situation. It would be very nice to get support, the tennis world’s support. The entire tennis world has for the most part been silent. The ATP has not stood up and spoken about it, it’s disappointing. I have to stand up and not be silent during these tough times we need any bit of support thaw e can get and would be great if we could get that support from the tennis world.”
Omri Gandelman who plays fro Gent in Belgium scored and assisted in his club’s 5-0 win over Breidablik in UEFA Conference League play. The midfielder spoke about the importance of his performance during these trying times, “I didn’t just play for myself and my team but also for the families and my country who are facing a very difficult situation. Everyone in Israel has lost someone and every single second I am thinking of those who were killed or kidnapped. It’s tough. They are in my heart and I am playing for them.”
“I love being on the pitch and my teammates are helping me, they have been fantastic and are here for me as they have given me confidence when the conflict began. The coach is here for me as well but when I am on the field of play I am doing my job. I have to still be a professional no matter what.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv were blown out by Monaco 107-79 in a one-sided affair in the Principality. Mike James was all over the court early on for the hosts to open up a commanding 52-38 lead at halftime and never look back as the yellow-and-blue had no answers throughout the 40 minutes for Sasa Obradovic’s squad in a rematch of last season’s quarterfinal series. With the loss, Maccabi’s record dropped to .500, 2-2 on the season as Oded Katash’s side will now ready for a date at Milano on Tuesday in Italy.
Antonius Cleveland and Lorenzo Brown scored 14 points while Roman Sorkin and Josh Nebo scored 10 points a piece in the loss. Mike James led the way with 24 points, Alpha Diallo added 18 points and Elie Okobo chipped in with 17 points in the win.
“I think we lost the game the way we approached this game,“ Katash said. “We were not aggressive and not even close, this was not our level. You can lose games but not in this way. Nothing was there, not the energy, we are better than that, both sides, something happened. We need to sit all together and talk about it and make sure this won’t happen again.”
The yellow-and-blue will now host their games in Belgrade along with Hapoel Jerusalem as the legendary Aleksandar Nikolic (Pionir) Hall, the site of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s first ever European Championship back in 1977 will be their new temporary home.
While Maccabi faces Milano in Italy this week, they will play their first game in Serbia against Bayern Munich on November 9th as the Reds will welcome Galatasaray to the facility this coming Wednesday in Basketball Champions League play. In addition, Hapoel Holon will visit Bonn in Germany in a Champions League clash as well that will be held without fans. Ahmad Caver who signed with the purples over the summer was released at his request due to the security situation in Israel. Hapoel Tel Aviv will most probably also play their home games in Serbia switched home games with London Lions this moving week and will visit England on Thursday for a EuroCup clash.
The FIBA Europe Cup trio of clubs, Bnei Herzliya, Nes Ziona and Hapoel Galil Elyon will host their continental contests in Cyprus while women’s team Elitzur Ramla has been excluded from the EuroCup due to not being able to present a venue outside of Israel as an option to play at.
Maccabi Haifa will also play in Cyprus and will host Villarreal on November 9th in their upcoming UEFA Europa League matchup at the island nation while the Israel national team will play their two remaining home games against Romania and Switzerland in Euro 2024 qualifying in Hungary.
Finally, German club Werder Bremen is supporting the family of Hersh Polin-Goldberg by helping raise funds and demanding his release as he is being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. Hersh, who is a fan of Hapoel Jerusalem, attended one of Werder Bremen’s games earlier this season with a number of friends and has been adopted by the franchise as they look to do what they can in order to aid all of the initiatives set forth in the war effort.