Monday, February 27, 2006

White Hart Snub

It was a while ago, but when it comes to football people tend to have long memories. Back in September 2002, Tottenham Hotspur rejected a request from the Israeli Football Association to stage their home Euro 2004 qualifiers at White Hart Lane.

Spurs were the first port of call for the Israelis -- understandable with the club's big Jewish support base and the 50,000 Jews who live within kicking distance of the White Hart Lane ground.

Fast forward to three-and-half years later and Israel's tourism ministry signs a £350,000 sponsorship deal with North London rivals Arsenal. Ouch, that has to hurt.

 This even though Arsenal's headline stadium sponsor is the Emirates Airline, the state-owned carrier pf the United Arab Emirates, which does not have diplomatic relations with the Israel.

Did the tourism ministry even consider Spurs? Well, apparently not. In case you were wondering Spurs fans -- you're just not big enough.

Uzi Gafni, a director of the tourism ministry, said told the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz: "We didn't go near Chelsea because of its anti-Semitic image prior to the [Roman] Abramovich era. Manchester United arouses antagonism, and Tottenham, despite its Jewish connection, isn't big enough. Luckily, Arsenal got back to me, just two days after I made the initial contact." Posted by Picasa


At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! arsenal bigger than tottenham, ask them that in one years time!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger ChrisB said...

Ha! Tottenham bigger than anyone ask them that if they ever get a decent stadium!


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