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By ESPN Staff
Mar 7, 2011

FIFA lifts ban on Israel boss

Israel coach Luis Fernandez will return to the bench for this month's European qualifiers against Latvia and Georgia after FIFA lifted his suspension.

Fernandez was banned last month, having failed to pay a debt owed to a club in Qatar. A disciplinary committee had in November 2009 ordered him to settle the debt. However, arrangements have now been made to bring the matter to a close.

"We can now look forward to Luis' next missions against Latvia and Georgia,'' the Israeli FA said in a statement. "We are pleased that this matter is behind us and now we are focused on the success of the team.''

Fernandez, 51, said the matter is now being dealt with by his lawyers, leaving him free to focus on the team.

"As I said last week, I arranged things with FIFA and with the team and now it is official,'' he said. "We all need to have only one goal right now - six points in the next two games against Latvia and Georgia and to be united around the Israel team. Meanwhile, I will continue to manage the legal affairs through a court in Geneva.''

Israel sit fourth in Group F of the Euro 2012 qualifiers with four points from as many games.

Israeli FA chairman Avi Luzon, a member of the UEFA executive committee, added: "We are delighted with the official announcement from FIFA and we wish Luis and the team lots of luck.''

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