Nir Bitton handed reprieve by Israel national team boss

Nir Bitton looks like he may not be banished from the Israel squad after all. Picture: John Devlin

Nir Bitton looks like he may not be banished from the Israel squad after all. Picture: John Devlin

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Nir Bitton has been granted a reprieve by the Israeli national team after manager Elisha Levy performed a U-turn on his decision to ban the Celtic midfielder from the squad indefinitely.

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Bitton was sent home by his nation last week after refusing to take part in a training exercise.

The Israeli FA soon released a statement bluntly revealing that Bitton’s international career was on hold as long as Levy remained in the job.

However, with time for both parties to cool down, it would appear Levy has had a change of heart and is willing to give Bitton another chance.

He said: “We were training and he wasn’t happy with my tactics and my assistant, Amir Turgeman, informed me he wouldn’t join in, so I sent him home. That is not acceptable.

“That was only in training. What would have happened had he refused to follow instructions in a game. We can’t have that, obviously.”

“Nir broke our disciplinary code and it was dealt with immediately. For me, the matter is over. He is a young player who made a mistake, but he made a mistake.”

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