Author Topic: John Blackwell (Army)  (Read 44 times)

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John Treleven

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John Blackwell (Army)
« on: Thu 20 May 2021 18:00 »
John Blackwell (Army)

Does anybody know anything about Blackwell?

He refereed Palestine v Lebanon (5-1) in Tel Aviv on 27th April 1940

This was the fifth and final game of the "Eretz" (Land of) Israel national team under the British Mandate.

Until independence in 1948, the national team of only Jewish players played five games. Two qualifying matches for the 1934 World Cup v Egypt, two more for 1938 v Greece, all of which were lost, and this friendly.

During the 1930s, Lebanon was a regular destination for friendly tours by the football clubs of Palestine. Teams such as Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Petah Tikva, and Maccabi Haifa regularly played teams from Beirut, Tyre, and Sidon. Plans were announced in late March 1940 for a four team football tournament with the national teams of Palestine and Lebanon plus teams from the British Army in Palestine and the French Army in Lebanon. However, with the two armies put on alert in mid April in anticipation of the Battle for France, only the match between Palestine and Lebanon went ahead.

Lebanon had only played a few unofficial games previously, against clubs from Romania (C.A. Timisoara and Unirea Tricolor Bucharest) and Austria (Admira Vienna).

At the end of 1939, Jamil Sabaya, chairman of the Lebanese F.A., had visited his family in Jerusalem and Jaffa. Sabaya was friendly with the heads of the Hebrew football teams, especially the president of the F.A. in Eretz Israel, Yitzhak Halutz. In one of their meetings in Jerusalem, they signed an agreement for their teams to meet.

The game was at the Maccabiah Stadium on the banks of the Yarkon River. The giant advertisements were only taped to billboards throughout Tel Aviv after the Lebanese arrived in Jaffa. This was to prevent the Lebanese team being stopped from travelling if word had got back to the Beirut press.

The Israel coach was Arthur Baar, an Austrian founder of the Nostalgic Vienna Power Group and a famous figure in Palestinian football. A squad of 18 was picked by Baar who had replaced Egon Pollack as Pollack had stayed in Australia after the Maccabi Tel Aviv club tour had ended.

On the eve of the game the players were invited to tea at a cafe on Rothschild Boulevard for a chat. It was explained that each player must travel to the stadium with their own boots. There was no practice for the game and only 14 of them could fit in the changing room.

On the morning of the match Beer invited Armin Weiss, the new Maccabi Tel Aviv coach, to assist him in the "dug out". About 10,000 spectators including many British soldiers, watched in a stadium decorated with the Palestine and Lebanese flags.

The referee was British Army man John Blackwell.

Israel started against the wind, and in the second minute, Herbert Meitner broke though on the right and scored. In the 11th minute, Avraham Schneiderovich scored a second wih a penalty. Gaul Machlis 30th minute and Werner Kaspi 35th minute made the interval score 4-0.

Zvi Fuchs had injured his leg and for the second half was replaced by Lonia Dvorin. Lebanon pulled one back in the 50th minute through central striker Camille Cordahi. On the hour Kaspi scored his second to make it 5-1. Palestine eased off after that in order to maintain good relations with Lebanon.

At the final whistle, eager fans ran on the pitch and the players off to nearby Dizengoff Street. The last two of the players to leave the stadium in the dark were Dvorin supporting his injured friend Fuchs. The two walked to Hadassah Hospital for Fuchs to receive treatment. After the game commentators expressed surprise that Beer did not use Perry Neufeld as a substitute as he was the most prominent footballer in Israel at the time.

A return friendly was planned for Beirut in 1941 but it was not played.

The 1940 match was Lebanon's first official international and Palestine's last before they became Israel in 1948.

Six Lebanese players went on to play at least one more international game but Shalom Shalomzon was the only Palestine player to do so.

GK   Binyamin Mizrahi (Beitar Tel Aviv)
RB   Shalom Shalomzon (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
LB   Yaacov Breir (Hapoel Haifa)
RH   Zalman Friedmann (Hapoel Tel Aviv)
CH   Zvi Fuchs (Maccabi Tel Aviv)   
LH   Haim Reich (Hapoel Tel Aviv)
OR   Herbert Meitner (Hapoel Rishon)
IR   Zvi Erlich (Hapoel Tel Aviv)
CF   Werner Kaspi (c) (Beitar Tel Aviv)
IL   Avraham Schneiderovitz (Maccabi Nes Tziona)
OL   Gaul Machlis (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
GK   Asi Asher (Hakoah Tel Aviv)   
LB   Lonia Dvorin (Beitar Tel Aviv) (for Fuchs 46)
CF   Peri Neufeld (Maccabi Tel Aviv)   
Manager: Arthur Baar

GK   Nazem Sayad (Tripoli)
RB   Yeghishe Darian (DPHB)
LB   Antoine Sakr (DPHB)
RH   Guiragos (Homenetmen)
CH   Toufic Barbir (DPHB)
LH   Salah Falah (Hilmi Sports)
OR   Muhieddine Jaroudi (Hilmi Sports)
IR   Nercesse (DPHB)
CF   Camille Cordahi (DPHB)
IL   Oksen Ourfalian (Homenetmen)
OL   Jerard Ajemian (Homenetmen)

The Palestine Post described the match as "rather one sided" and stated it had not lived up to expectations, with the home side both physically and technically superior. In general, it wrote, the Palestine team played efficiently throughout the whole game; exceptions being the two full-backs (Shalomzon and Dvorin), who were not deemed up to par in the second half. Despite the scoreline, Palestine goalkeeper Mizrahi had been kept busy.

Although the Palestinian forwards scored five goals the Lebanese goalkeeper Sayad made many saves, several "brilliantly", and played very well; "The goals that did get past him would have beaten any custodian". "The Lebanese goalkeeper doesn't bear any responsibility for the five goals. Lebanon's front line was their "weakest link", with centre forward Cordahi and outside- ight Jaroudi being the only two "up to international standard". Although Lebanon's midfield was not "very effective", their back line played particularly well, especially Yeghishe Darian at right-back.

Lebanon's next official matches were all friendlies against Syria, one in 1942 and two in 1947, losing all three games. Israel did not play their first official match under their new identity until 1949, in a friendly against Cyprus, although they played an unofficial match against the United States Olympic team in 1948.

Of Palestine's 12 players involved, the match was the only appearance for eight (Mizrahi, Breir, Fuchs, Meitner, Erlich, Kaspi, Schneiderovitz, Dvorin), and the last cap for three (Friedmann, Reich, Machlis). Shalomzon, who debuted in the game, would become the only player of the match to go on to make an appearance for Israel, albeit unofficial, playing in the 1948 friendly against the United States. Of the two unused substitutes, Neufeld's only two international caps were in the 1938 World Cup qualifiers, where he scored once, whereas Asi Asher would never be capped for Palestine or Israel.

The game was the only cap for five of Lebanon's eleven players (Sayad, Guiragos, Barbir, Nercesse, Ourfalian). Three players went on to play another game against Syria: Sakr and Falah on 19 April 1942, and Darian on 4 May 1947. The remaining three players played two more friendlies, all against Syria: Cordahi on 19 April 1942 and 4 May 1947, Jaroudi on 19 April 1942 and 18 May 1947, and Ajemian on 4 May 1947 and 18 May 1947.
« Last Edit: Thu 20 May 2021 21:34 by John Treleven »

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