Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Turkish Football Federation's Sandy Koufax

Pini Balili, not playing on Yom Kippur

I had a very difficult time trying to make sense of a news item that appeared on the Hürriyet home page with a big caption and picture, a few days ago. The two words that I did understand were "futbol" and "Yom Kippur." The article itself still did not provide a clear answer. However, my friend Anne was able to employ her recently-acquired Turkish skills to solve the mysterious relationship between Turkish football and Yom Kippur:
The article is about how the Sivas-Spor and Ankara-Spor federations, which I assume is a soccer federation in Turkey, has given a holiday to the Israeli player Balili, for this big match sponsored by the spanish league and turkcell, the main cell phone company in Turkey. The holiday is, obviously Yom Kippur, and he was supposed to play on sunday. Then they have a quote from the Israeli player saying, "I am very grateful to my club and to the Turkish football federation ..."
Thanks for the translation, Anne!

The player in question is Pini Balili, a former member of the Israeli national team. Well, bully for him and for the Turkish football federation.

Trivia item of the day: "Yom Kippur" is called "Kefaret Günü" in Turkish.

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