Football: Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay distances himself from Tomer Hemed goal-scoring celebration scrutiny

Wellington's Israeli forward Tomer Hemed scored both goals in the Wellington Phoenix's 2-2 draw against Melbourne City.

But the A-League star's post-goal celebrations have come under scrutiny with Hamed using those moments to show his support for his home country.

With Israel and Palestine currently amid a violent conflict. Hemed dropped himself in an Israeli flag after scoring the first goal, before donning a Jewish kippah moments after slotting the equaliser.

Hemed was subsequently yellow carded for the latter offence, which fits under football's mandatory sanction for covering your face or head with a mask or other covering. 

Ufuk Talay
Ufuk Talay Photo credit: Photosport

After the match, Hemed dedicated his performance during the game to his home country. 

“This game is dedicated to you my dear country. My heart is with you. May the peace return soon amen,” Hemed posted on social media after the game.

But Talay was keen to distance himself when pressed about the celebrations during the post-match press conference.

He expects the match review panel to examine the incident and the club will comment.

"I'm sure we’ll look at it as a club and the federation will look at it as well, but at the end of the day I can’t control once the players are out on the field what they do.”

Asked if he thought Hemed's celebrations were  appropriate, Talay said: "it's hard for me to comment on at the end of the day."

But the coach lauded his star recruits' individual display, especially in the absence of skipper Ulises Davila.

"He's a different player for us. He gives us that presence up top that we need," Talay said. 

"He scored from the penalty and I thought the second goal was a good goal as well. 

He's an important player for us, especially tonight when we were missing two very important players. It’s great that he stepped up."