The Israel Basketball Association (IBA) is under a state of emergency after a series of financial irregularities that have left its players with only two weeks of guaranteed pay.
The IBA has been under the spotlight since the arrest last month of two players from the national team, Elie Safet and Zvi Gevor, who were charged with money laundering and money laundering offences.
Safet and Gevors, who are from Tel Aviv, were arrested on the eve of the Israel Basketball Federation’s (IBF) first match against Poland in Moscow, Russia.
The players, who had been playing with the Israel national team since the 1980s, were accused of laundering some $15m and attempting to use forged documents in an attempt to hide their financial dealings.
According to court documents, the players and their agents have allegedly failed to declare their assets and have not paid taxes and taxes in the past three years.
Salfet and the other two players were charged under a law that is rarely used against athletes and has not been used against Israeli athletes in the country’s history.
The Israeli court has ordered the arrest of the players on charges that they attempted to flee the country and sought to commit a crime.
They will remain in custody until they are formally charged and are extradited, an official told Reuters news agency.
The arrests of the two players come at a time when the Israeli government is trying to attract more foreign players, many of whom have been fleeing the country to the United States.
Last month, the Israeli team was forced to withdraw from the World Cup of Basketball due to financial issues.