UEFA okays matches outside Tel Aviv

International soccer was last played in J'lem in 2005, in Ashdod in 1995.

Maccabi Haifa 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Haifa 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel will be able to host international and club soccer matches in Jerusalem, Haifa and Ashdod after a security review by UEFA. European soccer's governing body said Saturday that Israel would no longer be limited to using Tel Aviv to host games. UEFA banned all European club and international soccer matches in Israel from August 7 - September 15 during and immediately after the Second Lebanon War. Then it only allowed matches to be played in Tel Aviv. "This was expected," Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon told Ynet. "I am happy that this decision came, finally. This just shows that when you want something and believe in it, it's possible to achieve it." The last time Israel played in Jerusalem was in February 2005, in a 3-3 friendly draw with Croatia. The last game in Haifa was in February 2000, when Israel defeated Russia 4-1 in an exhibition game. International soccer has not been played in Ashdod since 1995, when Israel defeated Luxembourg 4-2 in a friendly.