UEFA sticks to its guns over European ties

Despite presence of IFA delegation, UEFA's chief executive confirmed Israeli clubs must find alternative venues for games due to security situation.

August 3, 2006 00:50
2 minute read.
soccer ball 88

soccer ball 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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 analysis 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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


UEFA's emergency committee meeting upheld its decision Monday that Israeli clubs Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda will have to play their UEFA Cup ties outside of Israel. The Israel Football Association sent a delegation to Geneva in the hope of persuading European soccer's governing body to reverse its position and allow the games to take place in Israel. But UEFA chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson sent a fax to IFA chairman Itzhak (Iche) Menahem confirming the decision that the Israeli clubs must find alternative venues outside of the country for the games due to the security situation. Hapoel were due to host Slovenian side Domzale on 8 August with Bnei Yehuda hosting Lokomotiv Sofia two days later, both at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv. However, the saga will continue Thursday when the IFA delegation will travel to Luzerne, Switzerland, Thursday for a meeting with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The IFA are hoping that the CAS will overturn UEFA‚s decision and rule that the matches should be played in Israel. Following the decision, Hapoel and Bnei Yehuda named the Netherlands and the Ukraine as their alternative venues for their home matches. Hapoel said it will play its game in the Netherlands, either in Tilburg or Arnhem and Bnei Yehuda named the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. UEFA also confirmed that on August 7, it will decide the location of the Champions League qualifying-round game between Maccabi Haifa and 2005 Champions League winner Liverpool, which is scheduled for later in August. Meanwhile, the voices of concern continue to be heard from Liverpool FC when on Wednesday striker Peter Crouch backed the view of his manager that the team shouldn't be forced to play the away leg of its Champions League qualifier in Israel. "Our manager has made it clear very clearly already what he feels, and we agree," he said. "We don't really want to be playing in Israel and the tie should be moved somewhere else." Despite not knowing where the match will be played the English international is not looking for any excuse. He stated: "We have to concentrate on getting the right result and go out and do our job wherever it is played." On August 7 UEFA will also determine the location of the second-round qualifying game between Betar Jerusalem and Romania's Dinamo Bucharest. The IFA's biggest fear is a return to the period between October 2001 and April 2004, when all of Israel's home games in FIFA and UEFA-sanctioned tournaments were played outside the country.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov