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Israeli Coach to Miss Game for Yom Kippur

Avram Grant will not be at his team’s game Saturday in order to observe Yom Kippur.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/17/2010, 5:14 AM / Last Update: 9/17/2010, 5:10 AM

Arutz 7

A famous Israeli soccer coach will miss one of his team’s games since it falls on the holiest days in the Jewish year.

Avram Grant, who currently is the manager of British team West Ham United, will not be there to guide his team during their league game at Stoke on Saturday, due to Yom Kippur.

Grant will pick the team for the game, but his assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic will be in charge of the team during the game itself. Also missing the game for the same reason will be defender Tal Ben Haim.

In a statement, the team said: “Out of respect for the traditions, heritage and religious obligations of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Avram Grant will not be in the dug-out at Stoke City this Saturday. West Ham fully respect and understand the situation. It’s very unusual for the day to clash with the fixture list.” According to reports, the team asked its fans to respect Grant’s decision not to be present at the game.

Grant began his professional coaching career in Israel, as coach of teams such as Hapoel Petach Tikvah, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Haifa, and Maccabi Haifa (who won the Israeli Premier League for two years in a row under his direction). He later managed the Israeli national team for four years.

In 2006, Grant moved to England in 2006 to become Technical Director of Portsmouth before being appointed Director of football at Chelsea in July 2007. Since June, he has been the manager of West Ham United.

In 2007, while he was manager for Chelsea, Grant’s preparations for his first game as manager were also interrupted by Yom Kippur. After the fast was over, Grant flew to the game by helicopter.