Abraham's Other Sons
This, needless to say, caused a brouhaha. Gahanian officials rushed to deny any implication that the Gahanian FA had taken a position with respect to Israeli-Palestinian affairs. Quite why the Gahanian FA thought anyone would care if it had something to say about, say, housing conditions in Jenin, I'm not sure, but there we are.
Israel, needless to say, is not at the 2006 World Cup. It has only ever made it to the tournament once, in 1970, as a representative of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Shortly therafter, as "anti-Zionism" swept various international bodies, the Arab nations orchestrated
Despite their current absence at the top of the international game, Jews have historically had an important role in the development of the sport. Jewish players and coaches were, for instance, at the heart of the major tactical and organizational changes that transformed football in the 1930s. At that time, Austrian and Hungarian squads were considered the world's best, and they pioneered the short passing game. One Hungarian Jewish coach - Ernesto Egri Erbstein - was coach at Torino just before and just after the Second World War (Mussolini's anti-semitic laws forced him out of the country for a time despite a conversion to catholicism) and it was he who turned Torino into arguably the continent's finest time before he and his players died in the Superag crash in 1949.
Most importantly of all, it was the Jewish Hugo Meisel, head of the Austrian FA and coach of the Austrian national team, who created the Mitropa Cup, which was the first major international club competition and the direct forerunner of today's Champions' League.
Historically, a number of clubs across