TEL AVIV (Aug. 27)
Shlomo Shirazi, a popular Israeli soccer player and fullback in the Betar Jerusalem football team, has been removed from the national eleven, after he turned state’s witness in a case against himself and seven others in an alleged burglary and drug ring.
He was detained by police together with the others, mainly from Netanya, on charges of planning and carrying out a number of armed thefts in the Netanya area, trafficking in drugs and smuggling heroin into the country.
Shirazi agreed to turn prosecution witness and the police have accordingly dropped charges against him. But the national soccer team management said it would be impossible to allow a man who has implicated himself in criminal activities to play in the Israeli uniform in international games.
The national team said it would be up to the Betar Jerusalem management to decide whether he could continue to play for them. The charge sheet against the group includes a plan to rob the manager of the Betar Jerusalem team.