Uefa suspends matches in Israel until further notice

Governing body also confirms Belgium-Sweden result will stand

Uefa, the European football governing body, has suspended its matches from taking place in Israel. PA
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Israel will not be hosting any Uefa-sanctioned matches until further notice, European football's governing body announced yesterday.

Uefa said it had carried out a “thorough evaluation of the current safety and security situation in the whole territory of Israel” before a final decision was reached by their Executive Committee at a meeting on Thursday.

The ruling will directly affect Israeli clubs Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv, who are involved in this season's Europa League and Europa Conference League, respectively.

Maccabi Haifa's match against Spanish club Villarreal on October 26 has been rearranged for December 6 and Maccabi Tel Aviv's home fixture against Zorya Luhansk that had been set for the same day will now be played on November 25.

“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,” Uefa said.

Earlier in October Uefa suspended all matches scheduled to take place in Israel over a two-week period after Hamas' surprise attack.

That included Israel’s match against Switzerland in 2024 European Championship qualifying at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium.

Meanwhile, Uefa has also confirmed that the result of the game between Belgium and Sweden, which was stopped this week after two Swedish fans were killed in a terrorist attack before kick-off, will stand.

The European Championship qualifying game was called off at half-time with the score 1-1. Both the Belgian and Swedish football federations had asked to make that the final result.

“The Belgian and Swedish Football Federations are satisfied with the decision,” said the Belgian federation in a statement.

UEFA said “the result of this match does not impact the qualification of Group F.” Belgium had already qualified for the tournament to be held in Germany next year before they took on Sweden. Belgium top the group ahead of Austria, who also sealed qualification, with the Swedes out of the running.

Updated: October 19, 2023, 3:16 PM