Oh Lord, he scored, let me buy him a Mercedes-Benz

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY CANDICE KRIEGER

A BRI­TISH busi­ness­man has launched a pe­ti­tion to help him ful­fil his pledge to give a car to the Is­raeli foot­baller who lifted Eng­land’s Euro 2008 hopes.

Fred Done, the Sal­ford-born owner of 256 bet­ting shops, promised to give a £50,000 Mercedes to whoever scored the win­ning goal in Is­rael’s clash with Rus­sia on Satur­day.

But the Is­raeli Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion has told striker Omer Golan that he can­not ac­cept a gift as it is deemed be­yond the bounds of sports­man­ship.

Now Mr Done is de­ter­mined to get the car to him, set­ting up a pe­ti­tion on his com­pany’s web­site, bet­fred.com, un­der the head­ing “Sign up, if you love Omer”.

Mr Done said: “Omer Golan should be driv­ing around in his brand-new car. How­ever, the Is­raeli FA have said that he can­not ac­cept it as they deem it to be il­le­gal and un­eth­i­cal.

“Is this any way to treat Eng­land’s latest hero? ”

IFA spokesman Moshe Avivi said: “He can’t have the car be­cause we have a new rule that only our FA can give presents to play­ers of the na­tional team.”

In 1996, Is­rael beat Bul­garia 2-1 in a World Cup qual­i­fier at Ra­mat Gan.

An Aus­trian Jewish busi­ness­man walked into the chang­ing-room af­ter the game and handed the then cap­tain Tal Banin an en­ve­lope with the equiv­a­lent of £10,000 to share with the team. The Is­rael FA made Banin re­turn it, rul­ing that pay­ments from third par­ties were not per­mis­si­ble.

Omer Golan, who plays for Mac­cabi Pe­tah Tikva, had al­ready been jok­ing that team-mate Elyaniv Barda, who scored the team’s first goal, would be his driver and was re­port­edly go­ing to give the car to his fa­ther as a present.

Mr Barda was also said to have been promised tick­ets for a Bar­bra Streisand con­cert if he scored. The IFA again ob­jected.

How­ever, the Is­rael FA might have done Mr Golan a favour. Once the Mercedes en­tered the coun­try, he would have to pay 84 per cent pur­chase tax and 15.5 per cent VAT.

Mr Golan said: “It’s a bit of a shame, but that’s reg­u­la­tions. As far as I’m con­cerned, the most im­por­tant thing is the win­ning goal I scored.”

PHOTO: BEN TURNER

A com­mon goal: Is­rael and Eng­land fans at a Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion screen­ing last Satur­day night in North Lon­don

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