State Comptroller Slams Appointments and Free Tickets

Several of Israel's sporting institutions came under fire in the the State Comptroller's Report published yesterday.

The report criticized the appointment of Gideon Brikman as the head of the of the Sports Betting Council, a public body managing some NIS 1 billion a year, saying he had been the only candidate for the job and that his vetting procedure had been flawed.

The comptroller slammed Shlomo Sabia, an observer on the Israel Basketball Association on behalf of the Education, Culture and Sport Ministry for accepting a certificate affording him entrance to Premier League and Euroleague matches, saying that by doing so he had accepted improper favors.

The report censured the IBA for providing free tickets to the Sports Betting Council, an institution that could influence its decisions.

The report also found that three judges sat on the IBA's high court without having received the authorization of the president of the Supreme Court and the justice minister, as required by law.

The report on the IBA also found a possible conflict of interest in Eitan Rub's involvement with the organization.

Rub has fulfilled a number of positions at the IBA since 1993. In 2001 he was appointed head of the Tax and VAT Authority and in 2005 he became income tax commissioner.

However he continued to hold on to his position at the IBA, prompting the comptroller to recommend that the tax authority in conjunction with the justice ministry look into decisions taken by Rub in matters concerning the IBA.

The report was particularly critical of the head of the Sports Administration at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport Dr. Shuki Dekel.

According to the report, for a period of six years Dekel received a season ticket to Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club, in violation of the Public Service Law and the Gifts Law.

The report said the value of the season tickets amounted to NIS 45,000.