|The owner of an online gambling site is so upset that an Israeli soccer player has been prevented from driving his new $102,000 Mercedes that he has started a petition.|
BetFred’s founder, Englishman Fred Done, offered his prized automobile to any Israeli player who could score the winning goal against the Russian national side in a match last weekend and, thus, keep the England team’s hopes of qualifying for the 2008 European Championships alive. Omer Golan did just that by scoring in the 90th minute in a 2-1 win for the Israelis and Done immediately offered his Mercedes to the player.
Golan stated that his team were spurred on to achieve by Russia's pre-match braggadocio and not by the thought of driving Done's new automobile.
“They underestimated us and paid for their arrogance,' said Golan.
However, such a gift contravenes Israeli Football Association (IFA) regulations concerning incentives from external sources and Golan has been prevented from accepting the car.
'This was not a bribe and there is no law that can prevent us from giving the car to the player,' said Chris Bird, Spokesman for Betfred.com.
In response to the IFA ruling, BetFred.com has set up a petition on the website to persuade Israeli officials to permit Golan to accept the automobile.
“Omer Golan should be driving around in his new car but the Israeli FA have said he cannot accept it as they deem it to be illegal and unethical,” reads the petition.