Published On: Thu, Feb 11th, 2021

Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem Sale To UAE Sheikh Canceled

The sale would have made history.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Moshe Hogeg – Beitar Jerusalem Twitter

A historic deal to sell a 50% stake in Israeli Premiere Soccer League leader Beitar Jerusalem to a Sheikh from the United Arab Emirates is now apparently off the table. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi had paid about $90 million for his investment in the team.

But now Israel’s Hebrew daily Maariv reports that the purchase failed to get the approval of Israeli authorities due to questions about Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s finances. The Committee for the Transfer of Rights on behalf of the Football Association said that Betar Jerusalem had withdrawn its request to transfer 50 percent of the club’s ownership to Sheikh Ben Khalifa, after the latter did not issue all the required documents, including a certificate of integrity. But the body says that Beitar can still resubmit its application for the sale at some time in the future.

Sources told Maariv that Ben Khalifa had failed to provide exact documents regarding his personal accounts as well as detailed documents regarding the discrepancies between his assets as uncovered by an investigation company and the capital which he formally declared.

Beitar Jerusalem issued the following statement in which it denied that its petition was rejected and instead claims that the team chose to refile at a later time:
“We asked to withdraw the request in order to re-examine the outline of the deal with the sheikh and make a decision on the matter. Following a request from the Rights Transfer Committee to obtain several more documents and in hopes of continuing the deal, the club’s owners, Moshe Hogg, intended to take off for Dubai in order to meet with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa. Unfortunately, the sky is still closed and instead of asking for another extension we preferred to withdraw the current request and submit a new request. The reports that the deal fell through are incorrect.”

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