An Israeli soccer team was relieved this week to hear that their game against FC Aktobe, the Kazakhstan team, was rescheduled.
Maccabi Haifa’s qualifying matches for the Champions League was planned for Wednesday, the eve of Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem.
The Israelis asked to set a new date, but the Kazakhs initially refused.
Haifa manager Itamar Tzizik involved the Chief Rabbi of Kazakhstan Yeshaya Cohen and Alexander Mashkevitz, a Kazakh tycoon with clout in the Eastern European country.
“We did everything we could to get the dates changed,” Tzizik told the Yisrael Hayom newspaper.
The pressure was proven effective, with Mashkevitz lobbying in his role as President of the Euro- Asian Jewish Congress and the Kazakh Embassy in Israel sending a letter.
The game was pre-dated to Tuesday, July 28 (Av 7).
“I would not have been able to do this alone, and would like to thank the Kazakh Jewish community, headed by Rabbi Cohen and Mr. Mashkevitz,” Tzizik said.