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The Armenian team arrived slightly behind schedule yesterday afternoon and is without its best players for the match against Israel tomorrow.

Missing are Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper Roman Berezovski and midfielders Obasfian of Zenit St. Petersburg, Oganian of Torpedo Metallurg and Mobasfian of Saturn.

Hamlet Makhitrian, who now plays for a Lebanese side, has stayed away saying that he has an important club commitment in a cup match.

The decision also by the president of Ararat Yerevan Arkadi Andriasian to deny his players permission to travel to Israel has also had an effect on the squad.

Stand-in coach Adranik Adamyan said upon arrival yesterday that the Armenian FA had not been pressured into cancelling the trip. "We never discussed the matter and there was never any fear about coming here," Adamyan said.

He admitted also to not knowing much about Israel. "All I do know is that there are three of four players who play in Europe," he said.

The full teams' match will be refereed by Italy's Alfredo Trentalanga, while the under-21s will see local Assaf Keinan in charge.

The Armenian under-21 side has two Cameroon-born players in tow.

Hundreds of locals from the Armenian communities in Haifa and Jerusalem are expected to turn up for the match.