Israel's Soccer Association Approves Eli Tabib as New Owner of Beitar Jerusalem

Businessman, who's taking over from Arcadi Gaydamak, could be forced to rescind his 75% stake in the club's ownership if he is found guilty of assault allegations lodged against him.

The Israel Football Association has approved the sale of Beitar Jerusalem from Arcadi Gaydamak to another controversial businessman, Eli Tabib, and the club's fan organization.

A special committee discussed the issue last week but requested documents on who would hold how large a stake; in the event, Tabib will hold 75 percent and the fan organization the rest.

Tabib will take on the club's commitments and debts, and will have no claims on or file suits against Gaydamak.

The committee on Wednesday also mentioned the criminal case against Tabib, who is suspected of assaulting a minor. "If Tabib is found guilty of the said assault, we will reconsider the matter of the club's ownership due to the nature of the offense, its severity and circumstances," the committee wrote. "[If found guilty], Tabib will not be fit to be the owner of a soccer club."

The committee said that if Tabib still has claims on the club he once owned, Hapoel Tel Aviv, he should pursue that issue through the courts. Tabib claims that Hapoel Tel Aviv still owes him money.

"Tabib and any company associated with him relinquish their ownership rights in the Harel company [Hapoel Tel Aviv's main owner], thus preventing any appearance that Tabib is involved in two clubs at the same time," the committee wrote.

The decision also shortened the cooling-off period, letting Tabib assume ownership immediately instead of waiting for July 18, the date set by a previous decision.

"Taking into consideration that the 2013-14 season is about to begin, and the necessary preparations including budgets and contracts with players and staff, the committee believes it would be proper to approve the ownership transfer immediately," the committee wrote.

The decision also granted Tabib a further 21 days to present a clean criminal record from the FBI, since Tabib currently lives in the United States. He must fly to Miami and pick up the necessary documents.

Sharon Bukov