Int'l Soccer: Swiss to make Basel home for qualifiers

World champion Italy will also visit Basel for an August 12 friendly against coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's team.

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April 10, 2009 00:31
Int'l Soccer: Swiss to make Basel home for qualifiers

soccer 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Switzerland will make St. Jakob Park in Basel its home stadium for World Cup qualifiers against Israel and Greece later this year. The Swiss football federation chose the 38,500-capacity venue on Thursday to host Greece, its co-leader in Group 2 of European qualifying, on September 5 and fourth-placed Israel on October 14. Switzerland has not played in FC Basel's stadium - the country's biggest - since the European Championship last June, opting to play its three previous World Cup qualifiers in Zurich, St. Gallen and Geneva. World champion Italy will also visit Basel for an August 12 friendly against coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's team. Israel was in the same group as Greece during the qualifying campaign for the previous World Cup finals and played its away match in Basel, drawing 1-1 in September 2005. Switzerland and Greece each have 13 points from six matches, with four remaining. The group winner qualifies automatically for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the second-place team goes into a playoff against another European group runner-up.

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