UEFA pulls more matches from Israel

Maccabi Haifa and Betar Jerusalem instructed to find alternative venues for the return legs.

uefa 88 (photo credit: )
uefa 88
(photo credit: )
UEFA has announced that two more Israeli teams will have to host their European matches outside the country, due to the "military conflict in Israel." Maccabi Haifa and Betar Jerusalem were instructed on Monday to find alternative venues for the return legs of their ties against Liverpool and Dinamo Bucharest, respectively. Haifa is in the third and final round of qualifying for the Champions League, while Betar's tie is part of the second round of qualifying for the UEFA Cup. Over the weekend, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a previous UEFA decision that forced Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda to host their UEFA Cup second qualifying round matches abroad this week. Monday's announcement was another moral blow that will also hurt the teams' revenue from ticket sales and merchandising. "It's a tough decision, but we will have to deal with it," said a disappointed Avi Luzon, a senior Israel Football Association official. "There was an escalation in the North [since the previous decision], which was more than enough for them [UEFA] to cancel the games here and hurt the teams financially." Earlier in the day, UEFA announced that it had approved Tilburg, Netherlands, as the neutral venue for Hapoel Tel Aviv's match against Slovenian club Domzale and Senec, Slovakia, for Bnei Yehuda's game against Lokomotiv Sofia of Bulgaria. Both matches will be played on Thursday.