FIFA lifts ban on Israel coach Fernandez

The Israeli Football Association has announced that Luis Fernandez may resume his duties as national coach after a FIFA ban was lifted.

The Frenchman was suspended from all football activities by governing body FIFA on February 17 due to a debt allegedly owed to Qatari club Al Rayyan.

The 51-year-old left Al-Rayyan for Beitar Jerusalem mid-contract in 2005, with his former employers claiming he owed them 400,000 euros.

The IFA have now confirmed that the dispute has been settled to FIFA’s satisfaction, leaving Fernandez free to lead Israel in Euro 2012 qualification matches against Latvia and Georgia later this month.

“FIFA has announced officially that all the restrictions imposed on Israel’s national coach have been lifted … we wish Luis success in the upcoming challenges against Latvia and Georgia,” the IFA said in a statement.

Fernandez claims he had already resolved the dispute with Al Rayyan, but was forced to wait until Monday before proof could be provided to FIFA.

“As I already said last week, I have resolved matters with FIFA in order to be with my team and now that the official confirmation has arrived we all need to concentrate on one thing, winning all six points in the upcoming games against Latvia and Georgia,” Fernandez said.

“Concurrently I will continue to manage my legal affairs in court in Geneva.”