Israel has suspended two players from the national team over criticism of their coach, the country’s soccer association confirmed Tuesday.
Tomer Hemed, 29, who plays as a striker for the UK league team Brighton, and local Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv goalkeeper Ariel Harush, 28, have been suspended for two games, including the World Cup qualifier with Albania.
Israel lost to Spain 4-1 on Friday to fall four points behind the Spaniards and Italy in Group G in the European qualification for Russia 2018.
There are five games left to play with only the pool winners guaranteed a place at the tournament.
Both players were substitutes and after the game vented their anger over coach Elisha Levy’s tactics to Israeli media.
“If the players apologize and the coach finds them fit, they will be eligible again (after the two games),” a spokesman for the Israeli Football Association told AFP.
“I don’t care what the reason is, I must be a starter for Israel,” local media quoted Hemed, whose club Brighton is currently in line for promotion to the UK’s Premier League in this season, as saying.
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