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Jewish Journal

Faltering Maccabi Tel Aviv sack coach Iwanir

by Ori Lewis, Reuters

December 5, 2011 | 2:50 pm

Besiktas' Fabian Ernst, left, holds on to the ball against Maccabi Tel Aviv's Roberto Puncec during their Europa League soccer match at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on Dec. 1. Photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Besiktas' Fabian Ernst, left, holds on to the ball against Maccabi Tel Aviv's Roberto Puncec during their Europa League soccer match at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on Dec. 1. Photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Maccabi Tel Aviv sacked coach Motti Iwanir on Monday after he failed to improve the fortunes of Israel’s biggest club having been in the job for almost a year.

“In view of the run of recent bad results (owner) Mitch Goldhar has informed coach Iwanir that his contract with the club will be terminated,” Maccabi said in a statement on their website.

Maccabi are Israel’s richest club but Canadian owner Goldhar’s investment of some $35 million on players has failed to yield the desired results against major rivals under Iwanir.

The club’s 2-0 defeat by Hapoel Haifa on Sunday was a fifth consecutive outing without a league win. They lie ninth in the 16-team Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Iwanir, a former Israel under-21 coach and midfielder for Maccabi, was appointed in January.

Maccabi finished third in the league last season and qualified for the Europa League but have no chance of advancing from Group E as they are rooted firmly to the bottom with four defeats and a draw.

Experienced Yitzhak Shum, a former coach of Maccabi Haifa who also led Greece’s Panathinaikos to a league and cup double in 2004, has been mentioned by local media as a leading candidate to succeed Iwanir.

Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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