1966–68 Liga Leumit

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The 1966–68 Liga Leumit season was the thirteenth in the league's history, and is notable for the Israel Football Association's decision to play it over two years as a play to combat corruption and increasing violence at matches. The sixteen teams played each other four times during the season, effectively combining two seasons into one, leading it to be known as the double season (Hebrew: העונה הכפולה‎, HaOna HaKfula).

At the end of the season SK Nes Tziona and Hapoel Mahane Yehuda were relegated to Liga Alef. Neither team has returned to the top flight since. They were replaced by Hapoel Kfar Saba and Beitar Jerusalem. As champions, Maccabi Tel Aviv entered the 1969 Asian Club Championship, which they won. Maccabi Netanya's Mordechai Spiegler was the season's top scorer with 38 goals - 15 during 1966–67 and 23 in 1967–68.[1]

Background[edit]

The season began with a protests from relegated players, with the uproar reaching as far as the Knesset. In an attempt to restore order to the game and solve the issues raised, the IFA decided to spread the league games over two years instead of one. The main objectives were to put an end to the riots on the field, reducing trouble at matches and improve the quality of play, as well as infusing new blood into teams by alleviating the immediate fear of relegation.[2]

The double season format involved all the Maccabi (Haifa, Maccabi Jaffa, Netanya, Sha'arayim and Tel Aviv) and Hapoel (Be'er Sheva, Haifa, Jerusalem, Mahane Yehuda, Petah Tikva, Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv) teams playing amongst themselves at the start of the season, and only later playing between the two groups of clubs. This was aimed at minimising the possibilities for match-fixing by teams affiliated to the same organisation at the end of the season.[2] However, despite the drastic solution of playing a double season, the objectives were not considered to have been achieved.[2]

League table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts Notes
1 Maccabi Tel Aviv 60 30 18 12 88 50 38 78 Qualified for Asian Club Championship
2 Hapoel Petah Tikva 60 27 21 12 72 48 24 75
3 Hapoel Haifa 60 27 16 17 72 47 25 70
4 Hapoel Tel Aviv 60 24 21 15 80 55 25 69
5 Maccabi Haifa 60 26 15 19 55 43 12 67
6 Hapoel Jerusalem 60 24 18 18 66 55 11 66
7 Bnei Yehuda 60 20 24 16 54 49 5 64
8 Maccabi Netanya 60 20 20 20 82 68 14 60
9 Hapoel Be'er Sheva 60 21 18 21 71 62 9 60
10 Hakoah Ramat Gan 60 22 16 22 66 78 -12 60
11 Hapoel Ramat Gan 60 15 24 21 65 69 -4 54
12 Maccabi Jaffa 60 17 19 24 50 59 -9 53
13 Maccabi Sha'arayim 60 14 24 22 49 72 -23 52
14 Shimshon Tel Aviv 60 14 23 23 65 80 -15 51
15 Hapoel Mahane Yehuda 60 13 23 24 51 82 -31 49 Relegated to Liga Alef
16 SK Nes Tziona 60 8 16 36 54 123 -69 32

References[edit]

  1. ^ Israel - List of Final Tables RSSSF
  2. ^ a b c "The 1966–1968 season". www.fc-bnei-yehuda.co.il. Retrieved 2008-05-25.  (Hebrew)