Beitar Jerusalem owner Moshe Hogeg held a fiery press conference today calling for the dismissal of Israel Football League Administration Chairman Erez Kalfon. The club has been looking for a solution in order to get the players back onto the training pitch and Hogeg feels that Kalfon and the league administration has failed miserably in working with the Ministry of Health to find a way to bring the sport back.
“The situation we find ourselves in right now is very disturbing as to how the decisions are being made. Elitzur Ramle form the Leumit basketball league are practicing but we aren’t. A funeral in Ashdod is allowed to have 300 when thousands actually attended but 22 players can’t play. Basketball was able to find a solution by joining the Balkan League and they should be praised as everyone was together.”
The Health Ministry Deputy Director General Itamar Grotto has been at the center of the storm as he can approve football’s return, “Itamar Grotto was going to let us practice but then something political made him go back on his word. Everyone who said they would vote for the return of sports then voted against. We found a solution how to train legally but then the league administration said that there are legal issues with the EMF League and the ministry of health didn’t like it so they sent the police.
“The police spokesman said that this was legal and we could train according to the Tav HaSegol and instead of the football league administration working with us like basketball and fight the cuts like the in the Ministry of Sports. The Ministry of Health, with all due respect to Grotto, is a professional organization and it should stop interfering with our ability to train.”
However, Hogeg feels that the league could be doing much more for the game, “Erez Kalfon’s interests are unclear. The fines that are being levied upon us are illegal and we will continue to practice until there is a legal opinion that says otherwise. The football league administration needs to find a solution so there can be a return to training. The Ministry of Health assured me that on October 14th training will resume.
“I intended to stop training but we did not receive any written commitments and Erez Kalfon threatened with fines. They need to come up with some sort of plan as they have failed miserably. They declared that there was unprecedented success but we haven’t seen an agura. The Toto has stopped paying the allocations, the players want to receive their salaries and the Ministry of Justice is silent. The only ones that are with us are the Minister of Sports and the Minister of Finance. Israel Katz expressed a great willingness to help, as did Hili Trooper, who came out against the Ministry of Health.”
Hogeg also slammed the minister of health in his role, ”Yuli Edelstein stopped Grotto from allowing us to return to training. From here the snowball just keeps on rolling and their egos allowing the sport to be destroyed. It’s a shame and a disgrace. Erez Kalfon is politician who has pitted the Ministry of Health against us. The Ministry of Health has admitted that we are not breaking any law. Why is there solidarity in basketball and football there isn’t.”
“The Ministry of Health can threaten and the Minister of Sports said that sports can’t stop because of Grotto. Grotto is not Putin and this isn’t a dictatorship. I’m not afraid that Grotto and Edelstein will force the teams in European participation to pull out, but he has to come down from the ladder. The league administration is a marketing body that has been selected by us and they won’t fine us. I will keep training until they take back their threats. Grotto all the time talks about the coronavirus risk and has said that he isn’t afraid that players will get infected by playing.”
Ultimately, Hogeg feels that the time is now for a new chairman to lead the way in this fight as he called for Kalfon’s firing, ”I am calling for Erez Kalfon’s dismissal as he has done a very poor job. We are fighting for the livelihoods of many people.”