Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Grant to miss Stoke match because of Yom Kippur

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Sep 2010

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West Ham manager Avram Grant will miss his struggling side’s Premier League match away to Stoke City this Saturday so he can observe the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, the London club said Wednesday.

In a statement, West Ham said: “Out of respect for the traditions, heritage and religious obligations of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Avram Grant will not be in the dug-out at Stoke City this Saturday.

“Dating back thousands of years, Yom Kippur — or Day of Atonement — is the most significant day of the (Jewish) year. It is a strict day of fasting and abstaining that forbids all followers to work.

“West Ham United fully respect and understand the situation. It is very unusual for the day to clash with the fixture list.”

The Hammers statement added Grant would prepare and pick the side but that assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic, senior coach Paul Groves and first-team coach Kevin Keen would be on the bench at the Britannia Stadium.

Grant’s fellow Israeli and West Ham defender Tal Ben Haim could also be ruled out for similar religious reasons if he too observes the 25 hours of fasting and prayer, which start on Friday.

Former Portsmouth boss Grant observed Yom Kippur prior to his first match as Chelsea manager three years ago before flying by helicopter to Old Trafford for the game against Manchester United.

West Ham are currently bottom of the table, and yet to earn a point, having lost all four of their Premier League games so far this season.

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