The Bethlehem soccer team will be idle on Saturday and will have an opportunity to rest up for the Sunday game in New York. Not idle by choice, but forced by the recent action of New Bedford in the American Soccer League and the failure of the Eastern League to stretch a point and assign a game here.
When New Bedford bolted the Eastern League local interest was centered in securing a game here for this weekend and the league executives appealed to Hakoah All-Star, the team Bethlehem will meet in New York on Sunday, was found to be idle and such a game would have proven every bit as attractive as the original scheduled contest against the Whalers.
On the pretext of too many injured players, Hakoah politely refused the invitation to fill in the vacancy, stating that physically the club was in no condition for two hard games in as many days. Other clubs were scheduled and as a result of Hakoah's refusal the local booters will be idle.
While no official charges have been made it is now intimated that New Bedford's sole purpose in affiliated with the Eastern League some two months ago was purely to learn the internal workings of the league and also that of the U. S. F. A., insofar as pertaining to the soccer war. To determine the attitude of the league and parent body in regards to clubs, players and managers in the outlaw loop and having ascertained this information was satisfied to forfeit the $500 deposit which automatically became effective when New Bedford again deserted the organized ranks. If that is found to be true a more flagrant violation of sportsmanship ethics has never before occurred in soccer or in fact any other sport.
Devious ways are being resorted to by the outlaw organization to undermine the new league and the National Association in which the long distance telephone is playing an important role.
Apparently the outlaw faction contends that to win Bethlehem their way the controversy is virtually won, for it seems that interest of this action have centered their attention to Bethlehem in making overtures to the local club to affiliate with the A. L.
On Thursday night the club received a long distance telephone call from President Cunningham, the latter announcing the action of New Bedford and then invited Bethlehem to come back into the league. Another long distance telephone conversation occurred this morning when Nathan Agar, of the Brooklyn Club, attempted to influence Bethlehem to switch its allegiance. To both of these conversations the replay was the same, an emphatic "no."