Football in Israel
Football is the most popular sport in Israel. Football as a sport, first developed in the United Kingdom. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Israel Football Association was not affiliated with any confederation, during this period, the Israeli national teams were only playing in FIFA competitions occasionally in OFC, UEFA and CONMEBOL qualifying tournaments. Finally it was admitted to UEFA as a member in 1992 and as a full member in 1994. The Israel Football Association is the body of football in the State of Israel. All of Israels professional football clubs must be members, and hundreds of semi-professional, as of 2013–14, the Israeli football league system has five levels and 16 different divisions, all run by the IFA. Promotion and relegation operates between each level, theoretically allowing clubs to progress from bottom to top four seasons. The State Cup is the Israeli equivalent of the English FA Cup and it is a straightforward knock-out cup. The final is played at the Ramat Gan Stadium and the winner qualifies for the UEFA Europa League, the Toto Cup is the Israeli equivalent of the English League Cup, the main difference being that there is a separate cup for each of the three national divisions. The cup is played first in a stage, with the highest placed teams qualifying for the knock-out stages. Like the State Cup, the final is played at the National Stadium, clubs who do well in either the Premier League or State Cup qualify to compete in various UEFA-organised Europe-wide competitions in the following season. The number of Israeli clubs playing in Europe in any one season can range four to six. Any clubs playing in the UEFA Champions League that will finish third in the stage will go into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 Israel hosted. Israel qualified for the World Cup in 1970 which was held in Mexico, mordechai Spiegler scored in a 1–1 draw against Sweden. Israels Olympic football team qualified for the 1968 Summer Olympics and the 1976 Summer Olympics both times reaching the quarter finals, Israels highest FIFA ranking was 15th in November 2008. During the British Mandate for Palestine, organized football consisted mainly of British and Jewish clubs, although Arab clubs also existed and took part in IFA competitions. As early as 1906, Maccabi Tel Aviv was formed as a club, followed by a string of Maccabi clubs in other cities and towns, such as Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, Haifa, Zikhron Yaakov. On 24 April 1924, Hapoel Haifa was formed, shortly after formation, they joined the World Maccabi Organization
Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C.
Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club is an Israeli football club and part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv sports club. Founded in 1906 as the HaRishon Le Zion-Yafo Association, Maccabi Tel Aviv is the oldest, largest and most decorated club in Israel. With the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv in 1909, in 1922 they became the first Jewish football club to participate in local competitions. Maccabi Tel Aviv have won more titles than any other Israeli club, winning 22 League Championships,23 prestigious State Cups, the club is named after the Maccabees. Maccabi Tel Aviv FC invest a lot of money in the development, the clubs youth system operate football academies at three sites in the Tel Aviv area, working with over 750 children aged 6–15. The club also runs 17 youth teams with 400 players between 9 and 19 years old and these teams tend to compete very successfully in local and national leagues. Durims decided to establish the Palestine League, in the same year the State Cup was founded under the name People Cup. That same year, the first Tel Aviv derby was played, with Maccabi winning, Maccabi won their first State Cup in 1929 after beating Maccabi HaShmonai. Maccabi won the State Cup for a time in 1930, beating the 48th Regiment of Foot 2–1, and a third in 1933. In 1936 the club was invited to play in the United States, on their way, Maccabi played in France, losing, 2–0, to Racing Paris and 3–1 to Lille. In the United States, Maccabi defeated the All-star team of New York City in front of 50,000 in Yankee Stadium. Maccabi also defeated the American Soccer League team in Brooklyn and Philadelphia on their ground, 1–0, and also played in Canada. Maccabi continued their tour in the USA and lost, 3–2, to St. Louis Stars, after returning from the United States, Maccabi players went on strike because they had not been paid. In 1937, after a year of action, the Football Association accepted their demands. In that year, Maccabi Tel Aviv also won their first league title, in 1939, after the start of World War II, Maccabi won their second championship. At the end of the season, Maccabi went to another tour and they played 18 games, winning 11, losing 5 and drawing 2. The games were against State sides, regional sides and five tests against the Australian national team, winning one, drawing one, in 1941 Maccabi won their first double, Winning both the league and State Cup, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv, 2–1, in the final. Between 1941 and 1945 the league was suspended because of the war, in 1946, the league was still suspended but the State Cup returned with Maccabi beating Hapoel Rishon LeZion, 6–0, on aggregate in the final
Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv F.C.
Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv F. C. commonly known as just Bnei Yehuda, is an Israeli football club from the Hatikva Quarter of Tel Aviv. The club is currently a member of the Israeli Premier League, the club was formed in January 1936 by Nathan Sulami and his friends. It was named after Judah, because the decision on its formation occurred during the week when the Torah portion of Vayigash is read in the Synagogue, Sulami and his friends were first promoted to the top division in 1959. Two seasons later they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing second from bottom, in 1965 the club reached the State Cup final for the first time, but lost 2–1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 1968 they reached the final again, this time beating Hapoel Petah Tikva to claim their first piece of major silverware, after several near-misses, the club was relegated at the end of the 1971–72 season after finishing second from bottom. However, they made a return as Liga Alef champions but were relegated again in 1976. In the 1977–78 season the club were promoted back to the top division as Liga Artzit champions, and also reached the State Cup final, the following season the club finished fourth in Liga Leumit. The 1980–81 season was the clubs best so far, managed by Shlomo Sharf they finished second in the league and reached the cup final again, this time beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 4–3 after a penalty shootout. However, the success was not maintained, and they were relegated at the end of the 1983–84 season, the club made an immediate return as Liga Artzit champions and finished second in 1986–87. The 1989–90 season saw the club win its first, and to date only, two seasons later they won the Toto Cup for the first time, repeating the feat in 1997. The 2000–01 season saw Bnei Yehuda finish second from bottom of the Premier League, however, they made an immediate return as Liga Leumit runners-up. The club have remained in the Premier League since, in 2005–06 they reached the cup final, losing 1–0 to Hapoel Tel Aviv, but also qualifying for Europe for the first time. In the 2006–07 UEFA Cup they lost 6–0 on aggregate to Lokomotiv Sofia and had to play their match in Senec in Slovakia due to security concerns. In the 2009–10 season Bnei Yehuda reached the European League play-off, after starting in the first qualifying round, the following season they reached the second qualifying round of the Europa League, but lost to Shamrock Rovers. From 2009–10 to the 2012–13 season, Bnei Yehuda managed to finish regularly in the top 3–4 ranks of the Israeli Premier League which won her participation in the European League qualifying, following the success, the group became a springboard for players. Many players who were remarkable in the ranks of Bnei Yehuda have moved or were sold to bigger clubs, in the 2013–14 season, Bnei Yehuda finished bottom and relegated to Liga Leumit. However, they made a return to the Premier League as the 2014–15 Liga Leumit champions. For most of its existence, Bnei Yehuda played at the Hatikva Neighborhood Stadium in the Hatikva Quarter of Tel Aviv
Hapoel Jerusalem F.C.
Hapoel Jerusalem Football Club is an Israeli football club in Liga Leumit. Hapoel plays at Teddy Stadium in Malha, Jerusalem, Hapoel Jerusalem Club was established in 1926 and played in the inaugural season of the EIFA league, playing the leagues first match against local rivals Maccabi Hasmonean Jerusalem. The club played in the league for its first three seasons, however, the club was restricted to playing mainly in the Jerusalem area due to travelling difficulties. The club participated occasionally in the Palestine Cup, reaching the cup final in 1943, after the establishment of Israel, the club registered to play in the makeshift second tier league, Liga Meuhedet, in the Jerusalem-Central division, which the club won. The club continued to play in the division, until it was promoted to the top division at the end of the 1956–57 season. Following the promotion, the club stayed in the top division for 21 seasons, achieving its best position, 3rd, in 1971–72 the club reached the State Cup final, losing to Hapoel Tel Aviv 0–1. A season later, the reached the cup final again. The club was relegated to the division in 1979. The club continued to yo-yo between the two top divisions in the seasons, playing his last season at the top division in 1999–2000. In 1998, the club reached its fourth cup final, in the early 1990s, the club was transferred to businessmen Yossi Sassi and Victor Yona. The two ran the team together until falling out, leading to a business and legal dispute which lasted until 2009. The fan-based club was established in 2009 and progressed to the Liga Leumit in 2013–14, the club currently plays in second tier Liga Leumit, to which it promoted from Liga Alef in 2010–11. Katamon Stadium was razed in 1982, with the intention to build a modern stadium in its place. The new stadium in Katamon was never built, and instead Teddy Stadium was built in the Malha neighborhood, during the early years, support of the club came mostly from the labour organizations in Israel. City rivals Beitar were identified with the right-wing nationalist organizations, all this played out to create the Jerusalem derby. To this day the rivalry exists, though it is not nearly as heated as both clubs played in the top division of Israeli football. In 2007 a large majority of fans, unhappy with the management of the club, as to 11 February 2017 Club website Hapoel Jerusalem Israel Football Association