Israelis draw games on Holocaust Day
Chelsea's return match against Liverpool in the Champion's League semifinal will take place on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 30. Beyond the fact that the law prohibits Israeli channels from broadcasting the game, Chelsea's coach Avram Grant and Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun face real dilemmas.
UEFA, the governing body, cannot postpone the match. It has never done such a thing for the sake of an individual, even though theoretically with a week to spare, all four teams still have time to change the schedule. In short, the chances of any rescheduling are next to zero.
Grant said of Tuesday's game, "I know we didn't play well. In Turkey we were better and lost. At home we played worse and won. When you reach the quarterfinal your first goal is to reach the semifinal and only then play good soccer." Asked about the chance to play Liverpool, he replied, "I'm optimistic. It's doable."
English newspapers were lukewarm about Chelsea's victory. The Guardian criticized Grant for not delivering on his promise to provide enjoyable soccer. It accused him of not listening to fans who want a more aggressive attack, but that his record in the Champion's League speaks for itself.
The Times wrote that Grant's achievements in the two most important campaigns have equaled or even topped those of his predecessor, Jose Mourinho. Therefore, the paper concluded, he deserves another season.
The Sun treated the Israeli coach favorably for once, writing that Grant "has the chance to do what Jose Mourinho couldn't - beat Liverpool in a Champions League semifinal."