Push Comes to Shove / Luzon Must Go

The unaware man is always a comedy that ends as a tragedy. Luzon should look around him and realize that no one is laughing anymore.

Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon chose Channel 2's "Friday Studio" news program to announce the cancelation of all the weekend's Premier League and National League games. "Friday Studio" is not a sports program, rather an all-Israeli tribal fire. Luzon did not speak for long. During the darkest days Israeli soccer has ever endured, he chose to remain mum.

The choice to break his silence on "Friday Studio" was not accidental. He chose it specifically because it is not a sports program. He chose it because he is angry with the sport, angry with the sporting media, angry with the fans and angry with the clubs. Most of them, that is.

IFA chairman Avi Luzon - Nir Keidar - 10012012
Nir Keidar

Luzon is angry with soccer because the sport is trying to vomit him out. The game is trying to disgorge him because it recognizes within him nonsporting characteristics.

The reaction is autoimmune - the body fighting itself. Autoimmune diseases behave strangely: Why would someone try to destroy himself? But it has a certain logic. The body fights itself because it recognizes a hostile element that has been implanted in it; that is contradictory to its essence. The sport is trying to fight something it sees as non-sport.

Luzon recognized the body's vomit reflex. He went underground until the storm passed. But the storm has not passed - instead, it has become a maelstrom. The fracas involving the players and coach of Bnei Lod and the players of Hapoel Ramat Gan was not directly linked to Luzon. There are violent whippersnappers everywhere, and Israeli soccer is the drainage pool of the subterranean undercurrents that are "everywhere." But the prevalence of violent incidents during Luzon's tenure is no coincidence. It goes far beyond the outrageous decision by the IFA's supreme court to legitimize a pogrom. In a word, it can be put down to "lexicon."

Luzon's tenure has been characterized by an uncultured lexicon. Beyond the profanities uttered by him and his relatives in the stands during Maccabi Petah Tikva's games, it's about the way this wonderful sport has been presented in recent years: always in warlike terms, using oppositional, in-your-face terminology; hyperbole that fluctuates between extremes, mood swings, black-and-white, us against the world, "the sixth best league in Europe," and so forth. Simple language that reflects simple thoughts devoid of nuances. Simple thinking devoid of nuances attracts simple partners devoid of nuances.

Avi Luzon should resign. He should resign despite the fact that he does not understand why. In fact, he should resign precisely because he doesn't understand why he should resign. Because the problem is all about awareness: Luzon is not aware of his faults, so he is unaware of the repercussions of his faults - which is why he cannot see the link between him and all the ills of Israeli soccer.

The unaware man is always a comedy that ends as a tragedy. Luzon should look around him and realize that no one is laughing anymore.