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Captain of Israeli national soccer team resigns

Maccabi's midfielder Eran Zahavi (L) jumps for the ball next to Porto's midfielder Ruben Neves during the UEFA Champions League group G football match at the Dragao stadium in Porto on October 20, 2015
Miguel Riopa (AFP)
The captain resiged after having received a 12-month suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The captain of Israel’s national soccer team, Eran Zahavi, announced on his Instagram account Sunday evening that he was resigning as a player after having received a 12-month suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“I want to announce my resignation from the team,” he wrote. “I have decided to be true to myself and what I feel to be correct.”

Zahavi was suspended on Saturday night as a result of throwing off his captain armband in frustration over Israel’s 1-0 loss to Macedonia in a disappointing upset. Shortly after the game, Zahavi explained the reasons behind actions.

“When I heard the booing (from the crowd), my heart exploded,” he said at a post-game press conference. “For 40 years we haven’t made it to the World Cup, 40 years without advancing.”

Shortly thereafter, Zahavi expressed regret over his reactions and continued to do so in his post on Sunday.

“I made a mistake and I apologize,” Zahavi added. “At the end of the day, I am a person who has feelings, who takes things to heart, who is offended, and also sometimes makes mistakes, as we all do.”

“After a long day of deliberations and conversations with my family and people who have been with me throughout my career, I want to spare you all the committees, the punditry, the columns and court martials that everyone is giving me,” he added.

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