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Antalyaspor mulls contract termination for Sagiv Yehezkel’s controversial goal celebration

Sagiv Yehezkel: After being temporarily detained by authorities, Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel, who was suspended from top-tier Turkish team Antalyaspor for an on-pitch demonstration in support of hostages held in Gaza, has returned to Israel.

Sagiv Yehezkel
Image Source: Sport Daily 24

Sagiv Yehezkel Full Story

After Jehezkel, who had been detained by the police in Antalya, displayed his bandaged wrist on Sunday with the words “100 days, 7/10,” supporting Israeli hostages, Antalyaspor suspended him over the weekend.

The bandage alluded to the Israeli captives, who had been detained in Gaza for a full century, on Sunday after Hamas carried out a horrific strike on Israel on October 7.

Israel and Hamas agreed to release hostages in late November, which concluded after six days with more than 100 people liberated. Israel claims 107 captives are still being kept in Gaza, along with the corpses of 25 people who have died.

The prosecutor’s office claimed that its processes had been finished, but there is no evidence that the inquiry into the player has been discontinued.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Monday that Jehezkel is returning to his native country. Jehezkel returned to Israel on Monday night, when he was hailed by applauding neighbors.

According to Turkish official broadcaster TRT Haber, Antalyaspor Deputy Chairman Alkan Evren announced in a statement that a legal procedure is underway to end the 28-year-old Israeli football player’s contract.

“I didn’t do anything to agitate anyone. Let the conflict cease, please. According to a leaked Turkish police report that was extensively quoted in Turkish media, Jehezel earlier stated, “This is why I showed that sign.”

Jehezkel was “excluded from the squad by the decision of the board of directors,” according to Antalyaspor, which announced its decision to suspend him from the club on Sunday. The team also stated that Jehezkel had violated “national values.”

Sagiv Yehezkel Biography

Full nameSagiv Shalom Yehezkel
Date of birth21 March 1995
Place of birthRishon LeZion, Israel
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
NationalityIsrael
FootRight
PositionRight-back, winger
Current teamAntalyaspor
Number29
EthnicityIsraeli-Jewish
Wife’s NameElian

Yehezkel was born into a family of Israeli-Jewish heritage and reared in Rishon LeZion, Israel. On June 23, 2022, he married Elian (née Yosef), his Israeli fiancée, at Moshav Shoresh, Israel. In June 2023, their first son was born.

Yehezkel had loan stints with Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, and MS Ashdod before joining the latter in 2019. He began his career as a player for Hapoel Tel Aviv and then moved on to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Yehezkel signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Israeli Premier League team Hapoel Be’er Sheva on February 11, 2021. On February 13, 2021, he started in the starting lineup in a 2-2 league tie away at Hapoel Haifa, marking his team debut.

Tensions Between Turkey and Israel

Turkey became the first Muslim country to establish diplomatic ties with Israel in 1949, a year after its formation. According to Turkish media, the two countries’ relationship has witnessed extensive collaboration, particularly in commerce, which is expected to reach $8.91 billion in 2022.

However, the Palestinian problem has repeatedly strained relations between Ankara and Israel.

In 2009, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now Turkey’s president, had a violent disagreement with then-Israeli President Shimon Peres over violence in Gaza, telling him, “When it comes to killing, you know it very well.”

In another diplomatic scuffle, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in 2010 following Israel’s attack on a boat carrying humanitarian goods and sailing towards Gaza in international seas.

Following an eventual apology from Israel for the attack that claimed nine lives, relations were reestablished in 2016. However, this only lasted for two years, as in 2018, both nations summoned their ambassadors back after Israeli forces killed sixty protesters at the Gaza border who were opposing the controversial move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Before October 7, relations between Turkey and Israel were improving. Erdogan first had a face-to-face meeting with President Isaac Herzog in 2022, and in September, he had his first in-person meeting with Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly.

FAQs

How Old Is Sagiv Yehezkel?

He is 28 years old.

What Is The Nationality Of Sagiv Yehezkel?

He is an Israeli.

From Which Team Does Sagiv Yehezkel Play?

He plays for Antalyaspor.

Sankalp
Sankalp
Sankalp, a talented writer, he has learned to navigate the challenges of a demanding personal life. Alongside his familiar responsibilities, Sankalp has forged a successful career as an engineer, equipped with an Executive MBA from IIMC and 15 years of professional experience.
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