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UEFA-sanctioned matches in Israel halted indefinitely


NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Israel will not host any UEFA-sanctioned soccer matches until further notice, Europe's governing body said Thursday.

UEFA said it had conducted a "thorough evaluation of the current safety and security situation in the whole territory of Israel" before the decision was made by its Executive Committee.

The ruling will impact Israeli teams Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv, which are competing in the Europa League and Europa Conference League respectively.

"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.

Maccabi Haifa's game at Villarreal on Oct. 26 has been put back to Dec. 6 and Maccabi Tel Aviv's home game against Zorya Luhansk that had been scheduled for the same day will now be held on Nov. 25.

Earlier this month UEFA postponed 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.

The governing body then postponed Israel’s qualifying game against Kosovo "because the Israeli authorities currently do not allow their national team to travel abroad."

Maccabi Haifa's youth team has withdrawn from the UEFA Youth League, which means Sparta Prague has advanced to round two.


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