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The Japanese are torn: "The signing of Lavi could lead to a frontal political clash" - voila! sport


The transfer of the midfielder to Gamba Osaka was received with hugs and sympathy by political parties, and in Japan they wonder how it will affect the Tunisian national team player who also joined

Japanese Ambassador Mizushima Koichi hosts Neta Lavie (Yoni Sonnenshein)

Neta Lavi is still waiting for the work visa in Japan before he can take off and join Gamba Osaka's training, but his signing is already making waves - precisely in the political arena.

In recent days, people in Japan have been wondering how Lavi will fit in with another new addition to the team, Issam Jabali, a player of the Tunisian national team.

As we know, there are no official diplomatic relations between Israel and Tunisia, and the hostility between the countries is expressed from time to time also in the sports arena.

Not infrequently Tunisian athletes boycott meetings with Israeli athletes or teams.

This is of course not the first time that an Israeli soccer player has collaborated with another soccer player from a hostile country, but there are those in Japan who fear that the hug Lavi has received from official diplomatic officials since the signing in Gamba Osaka will have a negative effect on the relationship between the two.

After signing with the team, Lavi met with the Japanese ambassador to Israel, and the latter wished him success and gave him a warm hug.

During the meeting, in which his agent, Gilad Katsav, was also present, Levi signed and presented the ambassador with the shirt representing him in the Israeli national team and surprised him by chanting "Ganbari masu" which means "I will do my best" in Japanese.

The Embassy of Japan in Israel stated that: "We thank Levi for choosing Japan as his next destination after his great success at Maccabi Haifa and see him as an ambassador of sports that connects the two nations, in the hope that he will pave the way for more Israeli soccer players as the first Israeli player to play in the "J League" in Japan.


In addition, Japan claims that Israel's ambassador to Japan is also planning a warm welcome for Levi, including a pro-Israel demonstration that includes waving blue-white flags in the home stadium.

Now, according to one of the sports websites in Japan, "Neta Lavi's move is becoming a hot topic not only in the football world, but also in the political world. This move threatens to become a diplomatic incident."

Fans of the team even turned to the heads of the club and asked him to publish a statement clarifying that the signing of Lavi would not be accompanied by a "political campaign".

"This is a very serious issue. I want to support Levi as well as Jabali, but I wonder how this is supposed to happen," wrote one of them.

Another fan wrote: "The meeting between Lavi and Jabali is far beyond a conventional meeting between two athletes who play together on the same team. It could be a frontal political clash."

More in Walla!

Neta Lavi was hosted by the Japanese ambassador: "We hope that he will pave the way for more Israelis"

To the full article

Will politics overshadow football?

Levi next to Issam Jabali (photo: official website, illustration)

Lavi officially moved last week night to Gamba Osaka, where he is supposed to earn about one million euros per season, after he was also courted in MLS and among Red Star Belgrade.

After his move to CSKA Moscow was relegated in the past, Maccabi Haifa promised the captain that if another high offer came, they would not stand in his way - and they kept it. The coach of his new team is Danny Poyatos, who knows Lavie from the time he served as an assistant coach at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Japanese team's training They have already started preparing for the new season, but as mentioned at Haifa's request Lavi will join them only in the coming days. Last season the team finished 15th in Japan, only one point away from the red line.

  • sport


  • Neta Lavi

  • Maccabi Haifa

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-02-03

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