Israel barred from hosting int'l soccer matches

The European football governing body UEFA on Monday barred Israel from hosting international soccer matches until further notice because of the violence that has wracked the region. In a letter sent to the Israel Football Association, UEFA said all games scheduled to be played in Israel "shall be played outside of Israeli territory." The ban applies to international and club games, meaning that Israel's Maccabi Haifa will need to find an alternate venue for the second leg of the Champions League third qualifying-round series August 22 against Liverpool. Between October 2001 and April 2004, all of Israel's home games in FIFA and UEFA-sanctioned tournaments were played outside the country, though a handful of international exhibitions were played in Israel.