update deskIsrael at War

UEFA suspends all soccer matches in Israel due to war

The move comes after a "thorough evaluation of the current safety and security situation."

The UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Maccabi Haifa and Juventus at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Oct. 11, 2022. Photo by Oren ben Hakoon/Flash90.
The UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Maccabi Haifa and Juventus at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Oct. 11, 2022. Photo by Oren ben Hakoon/Flash90.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has suspended all soccer matches in Israel indefinitely due to the country’s war against the Hamas terrorist organization ruling the Gaza Strip, European soccer’s governing body announced on Thursday.

“After a thorough evaluation of the current safety and security situation in the whole territory of Israel, the UEFA executive committee decided that no UEFA competition matches shall be played in Israel until further notice,” the statement read.

“The Israel Football Association and its clubs Maccabi Haifa FC and Maccabi Tel Aviv have been requested to propose alternative venues/stadiums (which must comply with all applicable UEFA regulations) outside the territory of Israel for their home matches to be used for as long as this decision remains in force,” the organization stated.

UEFA announced that the Europa League Group F match between Villareal CF and Maccabi Haifa, scheduled for Oct. 26, has been postponed to Dec. 6; and that the Europa Conference League Group B Maccabi Tel Aviv match against Zorya Luhank, scheduled for Oct. 26, was rescheduled to Nov. 25.

It was also announced that the Maccabi Haifa Youth team has withdrawn from the UEFA Youth League.

UEFA further stated that the Belgium-Sweden Euro 2024 match was abandoned at halftime due to the ISIS terrorist attack in Brussels that killed two Swedes on Oct. 16. The halftime score of 1-1 was determined to be the final score.

Late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

The premier thanked Čeferin for the selection of Israel to host the 2027 U19 European Championship, which will be contested by eight national teams at stadiums in Rehovot, Petah Tikva, Afula and at the Peace Stadium in the Arab-majority city of Umm al-Fahm.

The meeting also focused on the possibility of Jerusalem hosting the 2026/27 Conference League Final as well as a UEFA Congress in the near future.

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