The Israeli football team’s attempts to reschedule their home World Cup qualifier against Portugal due to Shabbat are most likely to be in vain.
According to Sport-Express newspaper, the Israelis wanted the game to be moved from Friday, March 22, 2013 to an earlier date – Thursday, March 21.
But Portugal’s coach Paulo Bento strongly objects the initiative, saying he won’t have enough time to prepare his players properly for the important encounter.
Israel and Portugal currently share the second spot in Group F of the Brazil 2014 qualifying.
The teams are level on seven points after four games, with leaders Russia five points ahead.
If the game is not rescheduled it will begin 3pm Israeli time, as the local footballers can’t play at home after the rising of the first star on Friday night.
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week, on which the followers of Judaism are forbidden to work.