Israeli soccer star Eran Zahavi was arrested and taken away in handcuffs on Friday after police raided his home amid complaints from neighbors over noise from a party.
Police said Zahavi was arrested for refusing to cooperate and trying to slam the door on the officers. They said Zahavi cursed the officers and refused to identify himself, telling the cops they knew who he was.
Police said they were responding to several complaints by neighbors of noise Friday afternoon in the swanky Savyon neighborhood north of Tel Aviv. The party, apparently held outside by his swimming pool, did not appear to violate coronavirus restrictions.
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In video from the scene, Zahavi can be seen telling the cops not to touch him and shouting “four policemen over noise between 2 and 4. Are there no more rapists.”
Israel has laws against noise in residential areas between 2-4 p.m.
Police then put him in a cop car and cuffed him.
Zahavi’s lawyer accused police of deliberately targeting him and using heavy-handed tactics.
“This is a failure of the police. If this was anybody else the incident would have been over in 5 minutes,” he told Channel 12.
Zahavi was released several hours later.
On Saturday, Zahavi, 33, celebrated his scoring an equalizer goal in Israel’s Nations League game against Scotland the day before, posting to his Instagram account: “It’s always a special feeling to score in the national team.
Zahavi, who currently plays for Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese super league, has been linked in recent days with a possible transfer to Turkey’s Fenerbahçe SK club.
The speculation was fueled when a popular Instagram account issued a personal invitation to join the Turkish club, which the Israeli said he would accept if it got half a million likes.
Within hours, the post beat the target while riding on a wave of supportive responses from Turkey.
Zahavi’s agent said Sunday that the outpouring of affection from Turkish soccer fans was encouraging, but stressed that the player had not agreed to transfer to anywhere — yet.