BY SIMON YAFFE
FOOTBALL rivalry was put to one side when Scotland supporters travelled to Israel — and donated £5,000 to a charity which helps premature babies and their families.
The fans were in the Jewish State to watch their team take on Israel in the UEFA Nations League, a game which the Scots lost 2-1.
They collected and donated the money as part of their Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal charity, which is dedicated to fundraising.
Donations are granted to voluntary organisations which help children whenever Scotland supporters travel abroad for games.
One of the Scottish fans, who was born prematurely in the 28th week of pregnancy, presented the cheque to the Lahav Society for Premature Infants in Israel.
Scotland fan John Daley said: “One of the Israelis we contacted told us about Lahav, a nationwide organisation established by parents of premature babies for the purpose of promoting and improving the condition of pre-term infants in Israel, their families, in order to reduce the number of premature births born every year.
“Israel is an amazing country, with excellent weather and polite people.
“Anyone you ask questions on the street patiently explain with a smile, which means a lot.
“We hope that our contribution to Lahav will help improve the conditions of preterm infants, and will increase people’s awareness.
“If it improves the life of one person who was born premature, or of parents who were born in Israel, we succeeded.”
Lahav chairman Romi Shchori said: “We were deeply touched by the generous financial donation.
“It will be entirely dedicated to purchasing equipment for the families at hospital wards for premature babies, as well as for supporting the ongoing activities aimed at improving the welfare, future and quality of life of premature infants and their families.”
Israel’s win over Scotland and their 2-0 victory against Albania on Sunday means that Andreas Herzog’s team are now top of League C in the Nations League.
Israel had gone behind against Scotland in Haifa, when Charlie Mulgrew fired home a penalty.
But Dor Peretz levelled and the winner — after Scotland had been reduced to 10 men — came in the 74th minute when Kieran Tierney turned a cross from Beram Kayal past his own goalkeeper, Allan McGregor.
Tomer Hemed, of QPR, and Dia Saba scored the goals which gave Israel the win against Albania in Beersheba on Sunday.
Israel’s final game in the group will be on Tuesday, November 20, against Scotland.
Israel’s U-21 side enjoyed two victories as they ended their European Championships qualifiers.
They followed last Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland with a 3-0 win against Kosovo.
The wins saw Israel finish fourth in Group E — 11 points behind top-of-the-table Germany.
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