Argentine footballer fights to stay in Israel

AN Argentine footballer, who has spent the last 10 years in Israel, is facing deportation from the country.

Israel’s culture minister Miri Regev is trying to help Pedro Galvan, whose contract with Hapoel Tel Aviv was recently cancelled.

That cancellation has stopped the process to obtain Israeli citizenship.

Attacking midfielder Galvan is the top foreign goalscorer in Israeli football history, netting 104 goals in 257 games.

“I approached Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to grant citizenship to Galvan for his contribution to soccer in Israel, and the Ministry of Culture and Sport sent a recommendation to the Ministry of Interior to issue him a work visa,” Regev said.

Galvan is a hero at Bnei Yehuda, where he enjoyed three spells, and he also turned out for Maccabi Petach Tikva and Hapoel Ashkelon.

The non-Jewish player spoke positively of Israel when the match between his native Argentina and Israel earlier this year was cancelled due to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

“We have the number one army of the world, the number one intelligence, it is very safe here.” Galvan said at the time.

“There is no safer place than Israel.

“If I said here it is heaven, you will think I’m exaggerating, but Argentina must come here — the team will have more security than Bibi Netanyahu.”

The 33-year-old also recommended his native countrymen visit Israel and added that he wanted to continue to live in the Jewish State.

Galvan added: “Please come here to see — I can’t find a better place.

“My daughters speak Hebrew better than Spanish and my wife also wants to stay here.”

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