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Israel national football team

Israel
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) הכחולים-לבנים (The Blue and Whites)
Association Israel Football Association (IFA)
Confederation UEFA (Europe) (1991–present)
no confederation (1974–91)
AFC (Asia) (1954–74)
Head coach Vacant
Captain Tal Ben Haim
Most caps Yossi Benayoun (96)
Top scorer Mordechai Spiegler (33)
Home stadium Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem
FIFA code ISR
FIFA ranking
Current 47 1 (1 October 2015)
Highest 15 (November 2008)
Lowest 82 (July 2012)
Elo ranking
Current 57 (9 September 2015)
Highest 23 (4 April 1976)
Lowest 80 (February 1968)
First international
Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel:
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Israel:
USA Olympic Team 3–1 Israel 
(New York, United States; 26 September 1948)
Biggest win
 Israel 9–0 Chinese Taipei 
(Wellington, New Zealand; 23 March 1988)
Biggest defeat
 Germany 7–1 Israel 
(Kaiserslautern, Germany; 12 February 2002)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1970)
Best result Group Stage, 1970
AFC Asian Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1956)
Best result Champions, 1964

The Israel national football team (Hebrew: נבחרת ישראל בכדורגל‎, Nivḥeret Yisra'el BeKhaduregel) is the national football team of Israel, governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Israel's national team is the direct successor of the Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel national team, and was managed by the Eretz Israel Football Association. Israel has competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in three different confederations, competing in the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation before settling in Europe as a member of the Union of European Football Associations in 1994.

The Israeli side qualified for their only FIFA World Cup to date in 1970. Israel also hosted and won the AFC Asian Cup in 1964, and was finalist in 1956 and 1960.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Asian Football Confederation membership 1.1
    • Years in exile 1.2
    • European Football Confederation membership 1.3
  • Stadium 2
  • Competition history 3
    • FIFA World Cup 3.1
    • Olympic record 3.2
    • AFC Asian Cup 3.3
    • UEFA European Championship record 3.4
  • 2018 FIFA World Cup 4
    • 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group G 4.1
  • UEFA Euro 2016 5
    • UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group B 5.1
  • Recent results and forthcoming fixtures 6
    • 2014 6.1
    • 2015 6.2
  • Coaching staff 7
  • Current squad 8
    • Recent call-ups 8.1
    • Previous squads 8.2
  • Player history 9
    • Most capped players 9.1
    • Top goalscorers 9.2
  • Managers 10
    • WDL Record since 1948 10.1
  • Honours 11
  • Kit suppliers 12
  • See also 13
  • Notes 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16

History

Football does not have a long and rich tradition in Israel. The game was originally introduced during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian Football Association was formed in August 1928, and joined FIFA in June 1929, but at the time the association was made up of Arab clubs, Jewish clubs, and clubs representing British policemen and soldiers serving in the region during the British Mandate rule that spanned the period between World War One and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The British Mandate of Palestine national team made its debut against Egypt in 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, losing 1–7 in Cairo. The team played five international matches, including a friendly match against Lebanon, until the British Mandate for Palestine was dissolved.

Upon the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948, the IFA became the official association of the new state. The Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the USA Olympic Team. The game was won by the USA 1–3, and in the 20th minute of the game Shmuel Ben-Dror scored the first goal after the creation of the State of Israel.

Asian Football Confederation membership

Nahum Stelmach kicking; 1959

Israel competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) between 1954 and 1974. Due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel. The political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales to ensure the team did not qualify without playing at least one game (which Wales won).

Israel hosted and won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup. In 1968, Israel went to their first Olympic Games and lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals.

In 1969, Israel qualified for its first and only FIFA World Cup, via Asia/Oceania, and earned two points after draws with Sweden and finalist Italy, and a loss to Uruguay.

In 1976, Israel went to its second Olympic Games and lost in the quarterfinals again, this time against Brazil. In 1972 and 1977, it attempted World Cup qualification as part of Asia, which both times ended in failure.

Years in exile

In 1974, Israel was excluded from AFC competitions, as a result of a proposal by Kuwait which was adopted by a vote of 17 to 13 with 6 abstentions.[1] The vote coincided with the 1974 Asian Games, where the football competition was marred by the refusal of both North Korea[2] and Kuwait to play second-round matches against Israel.

During the 1980s, it played the majority of its matches against European teams, and competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, it entered Oceania's qualification stage. In 1989, Israel made it to the CONMEBOL–OFC play-offs for the 1990 World Cup to play against Colombia, which qualified from the South American group, but lost (1–0, 0–0).

European Football Confederation membership

Yossi Benayoun is Israel's most capped player with 96 caps

In 1991, Israeli clubs began participating in European club competitions, and Israel returned to the European leg of World Cup qualifying in 1992. In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership, 20 years after it had left Asia. Within Europe, Israel has been a relatively minor nation, though with some successes, notably winning 3–2 in Paris against France in 1993, and 5–0 against Austria in 1999. That year, Israel made it to the playoffs of UEFA Euro 2000, but was beaten by Denmark.

Israel came close to advancing to the playoff stage in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, finishing third, behind France, and tied on points with Switzerland, which also remained unbeaten in 10 matches after 4 wins and 6 draws. The Swiss had a better goal difference, though, and advanced to the qualification play-off. Coach Avram Grant announced his resignation on 26 October 2005. After the end of his contract, he was succeeded by Dror Kashtan.

In UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Israel came very close to qualifying to final tournament, but finished fourth in Group E, behind group winners Croatia, 1 point behind Russia who also with Croatia qualified direct, as well as equal on 23 points (one less than Russia) from 12 games with England; who failed to advance as did Izrael. The 4–3 home loss to Croatia was the first loss after 13 consecutive official games and 9 home games without a loss.

In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Israel again came in fourth, behind Switzerland, Greece, and Latvia. For the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Kashtan was replaced as coach by Frenchman Luis Fernández, but to no avail, as Israel finished a distant third behind Greece and Croatia.

The continued presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to justify its transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation.

Stadium

An all-seated roofless stadium with a football pitch.
Sammy Ofer Stadium of Haifa. Israel's newest stadium

In the past, the Israel national football team's home stadium was the national stadium in Ramat Gan. The stadium seats 41,583 and was the first stadium in Israel to have world-class standard.

Ever since 2014, Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa (30,784 seats) and Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem (34,000 seats) are being used as the home stadiums of the Israel national football team. Both considered to be world-class standard stadiums. The Israel Football Association has used Teddy stadium while hosting the 2013 Euro U21 championship in Israel. Both stadiums also host matches of the Israel national football team.

Competition history

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Did Not Enter
1934 Did Not Qualify
(as Eretz Israel Team)
2 0 0 2 2 11
1938 2 0 0 2 1 4
1950 Did Not Qualify 2 0 0 2 2 11
1954 4 0 0 4 0 5
1958 2 0 0 2 0 4
1962 6 3 1 2 13 14
1966 4 0 0 4 1 12
1970 Group Stage 12th 3 0 2 1 1 3 4 3 1 0 8 1
1974 Did Not Qualify 5 3 1 1 5 3
1978 5 2 1 1 5 3
1982 8 1 3 4 6 10
1986 6 3 1 2 17 6
1990 6 1 4 1 5 5
1994 10 1 3 6 10 27
1998 8 4 1 3 9 7
2002 8 3 3 2 11 7
2006 10 4 6 0 15 10
2010 10 4 4 2 20 10
2014 10 3 5 2 19 14
2018 To Be Determined
2022
Total Group Stage 1/20 3 0 2 1 1 3 102 33 29 40 137 149
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Olympic record

Olympics Record
Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
1952 Did Not Qualify
1956
1960
1964
1968 Quarter-finals 4 2 0 2 9 7
1972 Did Not Qualify
1976 Quarter-finals 4 0 3 1 4 7
1980 Withdrew
1984 Did Not Qualify
1988
Total Quarter-finals 2/10 8 2 3 3 13 14

Since the 1992 Summer Olympics, the football competition is played as an Under-23 competition

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1956 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 6 5
1960 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 6 4
1964 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 5 1
1968 Third Place 3rd 4 2 0 2 11 5
1972 Withdrew
Total Champions 4/15 13 9 0 4 28 15

Israel did not compete in a regional competition between the years 1968 and 1994, although in 1972 they were scheduled to compete in the AFC Asian Cup.

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

UEFA European Championship record

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1960–1992 Did Not Enter
1996 Did Not Qualify 10 3 3 4 13 13
2000 8 4 1 3 25 9
2004 8 2 3 3 9 11
2008 12 7 2 3 20 12
2012 10 5 1 4 13 11
2016 10 4 1 5 16 14
Total 0/14 48 21 10 17 80 56
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

2018 FIFA World Cup

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group G

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup
1  Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible second round[1]
1  Albania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1  Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1  Macedonia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1  Liechtenstein 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ The eight best runners-up across all groups will advance to the second round (play-offs). The ninth-ranked runners-up will be eliminated.

UEFA Euro 2016

UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Belgium 10 7 2 1 24 5 +19 23 Qualify for final tournament 0–0 3–1 3–1 5–0 6–0
2  Wales 10 6 3 1 11 4 +7 21 1–0 0–0 0–0 2–1 2–0
3  Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 5 2 3 17 12 +5 17 Advance to play-offs 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–2 3–0
4  Israel 10 4 1 5 16 14 +2 13 0–1 0–3 3–0 1–2 4–0
5  Cyprus 10 4 0 6 16 17 −1 12 0–1 0–1 2–3 1–2 5–0
6  Andorra 10 0 0 10 4 36 −32 0 1–4 1–2 0–3 1–4 1–3
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures

2014

2015

Coaching staff

As of 13 October 2015[4]
Position Name Nationality
Head coach vacant
Assistant Manager Arik Benado  Israel
Assistant Manager Yossi Abuksis  Israel
Goalkeeper Coach Giora Antman  Israel
Fitness coach Ron Tziblin  Israel
Mental coach Alon Olman  Israel
Business Manager Israel Shchuchinski  Israel
Head Doctor Mark Rosnovsky  Israel

Current squad

The following 24 players were named for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Cyprus on October 10, 2015 and Belgium on October 13, 2015.[5]

Caps and goals updated as of October 13, 2015 after the match against Belgium.
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Ofir Marciano (1989-10-07) 7 October 1989 10 0 Mouscron-Péruwelz
1GK Guy Haimov (1986-02-09) 9 February 1986 1 0 Ironi Kiryat Shmona
1GK Barak Levi (1993-01-07) 7 January 1993 0 0 Maccabi Netanya
2DF Tal Ben Haim I (Captain) (1982-03-31) 31 March 1982 91 2 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2DF Eitan Tibi (1987-11-16) 16 November 1987 24 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2DF Omri Ben Harush (1990-03-04) 4 March 1990 14 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2DF Orel Dgani (1989-01-08) 8 January 1989 8 0 Maccabi Haifa
2DF Ofir Davidzada (1991-05-05) 5 May 1991 4 0 Hapoel Be'er Sheva
2DF Avi Rikan (1988-09-10) 10 September 1988 4 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2DF Shir Tzedek (1989-08-22) 22 August 1989 3 0 Hapoel Be'er Sheva
2DF Eli Dasa (1992-12-03) 3 December 1992 3 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2DF Oded Elkayam (1988-02-09) 9 February 1988 0 0 Ironi Kiryat Shmona
3MF Bibras Natkho (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 41 1 CSKA Moscow
3MF Eran Zahavi (1987-07-25) 25 July 1987 30 4 Maccabi Tel Aviv
3MF Beram Kayal (1988-05-02) 2 May 1988 30 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
3MF Gil Vermouth (1985-08-05) 5 August 1985 28 2 Maccabi Tel Aviv
3MF Maor Melikson (1984-10-30) 30 October 1984 20 3 Hapoel Be'er Sheva
3MF Tal Ben Haim II (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 18 3 Maccabi Tel Aviv
3MF Nir Bitton (1991-10-30) 30 October 1991 16 2 Celtic
3MF Sheran Yeini (1986-12-08) 8 December 1986 16 0 Vitesse
3MF Roi Kahat (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 1 0 Austria Wien
3MF Dor Peretz (1995-05-17) 17 May 1995 1 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
4FW Tomer Hemed (1987-05-02) 2 May 1987 21 12 Brighton & Hove Albion
4FW Omer Damari (1989-03-24) 24 March 1989 20 9 Red Bull Salzburg
4FW Moanes Dabour (1992-05-14) 14 May 1992 4 1 Grasshopper
4FW Ahmed Abed (1990-03-30) 30 March 1990 0 0 Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Israeli squad on the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Ariel Harush (1988-05-25) 25 May 1988 7 0 Hapoel Tel Aviv v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 June 2015 INJ
GK Boris Klaiman (1990-10-26) 26 October 1990 0 0 Beitar Jerusalem v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 16 November 2014 PRE
DF Eyal Meshumar (1983-08-10) 10 August 1983 10 0 Maccabi Haifa v.  Wales, 6 September 2015
DF Rami Gershon (1988-08-12) 12 August 1988 21 2 Gent v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 June 2015 INJ
DF Taleb Tawatha (1992-06-21) 21 June 1992 4 0 Maccabi Haifa v.  Belgium, 31 March 2015
MF Maor Buzaglo (1988-01-14) 14 January 1988 18 1 Hapoel Be'er Sheva v.  Wales, 6 September 2015 PRE
MF Shlomi Azulay (1990-03-30) 30 March 1990 0 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 June 2015 PRE
MF Dor Micha (1992-03-02) 2 March 1992 0 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 June 2015 PRE
MF Lior Refaelov (1986-04-26) 26 April 1986 35 5 Club Brugge v.  Belgium, 31 March 2015 INJ
FW Ben Sahar (1989-08-10) 10 August 1989 37 6 Hapoel Be'er Sheva v.  Wales, 6 September 2015 PRE
FW Elyaniv Barda (1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 36 12 Hapoel Be'er Sheva v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 June 2015
FW Itay Shechter (1987-02-22) 22 February 1987 24 5 Maccabi Haifa v.  Belgium, 31 March 2015
  • INJ Withdrew due to an injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad.
  • SUS Suspended.

Previous squads

Player history

Managers

Manager Years as manager Pld
W
D
L
GF GA Win%[6]
Egon Pollak 1948 1 0 0 1 0 1 00.00
Lajos Hess 1949 3 1 0 2 5 12 33.33
Vladislav Scali 1950 2 1 0 1 7 4 50.00
Jerry Beit haLevi 1953–54 5 0 0 5 1 7 00.00
Jack Gibbons 1956 5 2 0 3 7 12 40.00
Jerry Beit haLevi 1957 1 0 0 1 4 5 00.00
Moshe Varon 1958 5 2 0 3 6 7 40.00
Gyula Mándi 1959–63 31 12 7 12 49 63 38.71
George Ainsley 1963–64 3 2 0 1 4 2 66.67
Yosef Merimovich 1964 1 0 0 1 0 4 00.00
Gyula Mándi 1964 3 3 0 0 5 1 100.000
Yosef Merimovich 1964–65 3 1 0 2 2 2 33.33
Milovan Ćirić 1965–68 25 8 2 15 43 45 32.00
Emmanuel Scheffer 1968–70 24 8 8 8 44 34 33.33
Edmond Schmilovich 1970–73 19 10 4 5 27 13 52.63
David Schweitzer 1973–77 36 17 11 8 67 34 47.22
Emmanuel Scheffer 1978–79 13 5 4 4 17 15 38.46
Jack Mansell 1980–81 10 2 3 5 8 12 20.00
Yosef Merimovich 1983–86 27 8 9 10 39 36 29.63
Miljenko Mihić 1986–88 20 4 5 11 27 35 20.00
Itzhak Schneor
Ya'akov Grundman
1988–92 18 5 5 8 21 30 27.78
Shlomo Scharf 1992–2000 82 31 18 33 131 118 37.80
Richard Møller Nielsen 2000–02 20 7 4 9 29 33 35.00
Avram Grant 2002–06 33 14 13 6 55 37 42.42
Dror Kashtan 2006–10 31 15 10 6 51 30 48.39
Eli Ohana (caretaker) 2010 1 1 0 0 2 0 100.000
Luis Fernández 2010–11 15 6 1 8 12 18 40.00
Eli Guttman 2011–15 29 8 7 14 42 46 27.59

WDL Record since 1948

Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
1948 2015 466 173 111 182 37.12

Honours

Winners (1): 1964
Runners-up (2): 1956, 1960

Kit suppliers

Israel's kits were supplied by Puma from 1996 to 2008. Adidas took over in September 2008 and have remained Israel's kit suppliers since.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Israel v Wales match was originally to kick off at 20:45 (22:45 UTC+3), but was moved to 18:00 (20:00 UTC+3) as matches cannot kick off later than 22:00 local time according to UEFA's guidelines.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Aust-Asian bid fails".  
  2. ^ Rahman, Mansoor (1974-09-14). Visibles' win without any kick..."'".  
  3. ^ "Israel v Wales correction of kick-off time" (PDF). Israel Football Association. 11 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "National team staff". Israel Football Association. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Israel team for Andorra and Wales". faw.org.uk (Israel Football Association). 4 October 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places

External links

  • The Israel Football Association (official)
  • Israel National Team Statistics (Hebrew)
  • RSSSF – List of "A" Games
  • RSSSF – List of Official Games
  • Reports for all matches of Israel national football team
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