Israel handed difficult Euro 2008 task

Israel to face football powers England, Croatia and Russia in tough draw.

By ALON SINAI
January 27, 2006 15:36
2 minute read.
beckham ap 298

beckham ap 298. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel will face England in an official match for the first time, after being drawn to play together in Group E of the qualifying round of the 2008 European soccer championships. The blue-and-white squad, coached for the first time by Dror Kashtan, will also battle Croatia, Russia, Estonia, Macedonia and Andorra for qualification for Euro 2008, which will take place in Switzerland and Austria. The first match of the campaign will take place in August 2006. Representatives of all the teams will meet next month do make up the schedule. Kashtan and Israel Football Association chairman Itche Menahem attended the draw in Switzerland. "England is the strongest team in the group," said Kashtan after the draw. "It's [England] the birth place of soccer and this will be the first time we have faced them in an official match," he added. "Russia and Croatia are also very strong teams. The rest of the teams are very interesting as we've never faced any of them in an official match before." Menahem added, "It's a pretty good draw. If you look at the six other groups, you can say it's a reasonable draw, but definitely not an easy one. It's a very attractive draw and the fans in Israel are in for a treat." The system for qualification has changed with all the teams finishing in first or second in the group automatically qualifying. Israel will face an England team without coach Sven-Goran Eriksson after the Swede announced last week that he would be leaving his post following the World Cup this summer. "I think England should be happy with the draw. There are groups much more difficult than the England group, so I think it's very good," the England coach told Sky Sports. "Israel are coming [and improving] but all the small football nations are becoming better and better. I remember playing Macedonia and everyone thought it was an easy game but we drew 2-2. "It's never easy, it shouldn't be at that level but I think the England fans and man coming after me will be happy with this draw." Israel fans will be delighted with the opportunity to watch David Beckham and Wayne Rooney in Ramat Gan and will already be looking forward to following the blue-and-white to the new Wembley Stadium. Croatia, tipped to make an impact at the World Cup this summer, is not the most difficult team Israel could have got from the second level, but is a tough and strong team that is on the rise. Contrary to the Croatians, Russia is at an all-time low. The Russians will hope to rebound from a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign and make a serious run at qualification. Israel will also face Macedonia, Estonia and Andorra for the first time. If Israel is to have any kind of chance of qualifying, it will need to beat all three of the teams home and away.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN