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FIFA tells Israeli FA to suspend coach Fernandez

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- World soccer's ruling body FIFA has told the Israeli Football Association (IFA) to suspend national coach Luis Fernandez from all soccer activity.

The Frenchman has been in charge since May but is involved in a financial dispute with Al Rayyan, the Qatari club he previously coached.

"The Football Association today received an official request from FIFA in the matter of ... Luis Fernandez saying he must immediately stop all activity concerning soccer due to a debt he owes a club he used to coach in Qatar," the IFA said on its website ( on Thursday.

Fernandez issued a statement saying he is certain the matter will be resolved before he is due to lead Israel in home Euro 2012 qualifiers against Latvia and Georgia next month.

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"This is a legal battle that has been ongoing for years. I am certain that matters will be settled certainly by the time of the matches at the end of March," he said.

The IFA added it would hold talks with Fernandez and his lawyers next week.

"I will meet Luis Fernandez and together we will see how to resolve the problem that has arisen," said chairman Avi Luzon.