A LACK of players has forced Scotland’s Jewish football team to pull out of their own version of the Olympics.
Despite thousands of pounds in funding available to fly a team out to Israel next month, only a handful signed up.
Hopes were high that at least 50 fifty Jewish bravehearts would represent Scotland at what is touted as the third biggest sporting event on earth, with 10,000 participants expected.
Instead, Jewish football boss Sue Faber says just 13 Scots will compete in table tennis, golf and squash.
She said: “The senior team are suffering because we can’t get enough players.
“And we don’t just need players, but also volunteers to become involved and take the footballers to matches and provide support.
“There will still be a Scotland squad in Israel, with 13 going at the moment and competing in golf, squash, tennis and table tennis.
“But we want to be able to build up for the European Games in Vienna in 2011 and it would be a real shame if we weren’t able to include footballers.”
Amid Chris Hoy mania last summer, First Minister Alex Salmond’s SNP backed the Scottish Jewish Olympic team as a “great” idea which proved “small nations can compete on the world stage.”
But the Maccabi Scotland organisation is worried that the player shortage may lead to the Scottish Jewish football team dying out completely.
They are holding an emergency meeting in Glasgow on Monday to try to scrape a squad together.
The 2005 Maccabiah Games in Rome attracted its largest attendance since inception in 1932, with more than 7,700 athletes.