UEFA bars Israel from hosting international soccer games until further notice

August 7, 2006 11:37 PM IMEMC & Agencies Diplomacy, International, News Report 0

The European football governing body, UEFA, decided on Monday to bar Israel from hosting international soccer matches until further notice, as a result of violence in the region.

The UEFA sent a letter to the Israeli Football Association on Monday stating that all games scheduled to be played in Israel will now be played outside of the country.

The letter was signed by the UEFA secretary general Lars-Christer Olsson.

"The IFA and its clubs shall be responsible for providing alternative venues in their function as host FA or host club according to the regulations of the competition concerned," the letter reads.

The game hosting ban applies to all international and club games. This requires Israel’s Maccabi Haifa team to find an alternate venue for the second leg of the Champions League third qualifying-round series slated for August  22 against Liverpool.

Liverpool coach  Rafa Benitez said it is unacceptable to travel to Israel.

The decision also affects the game between Betar Jerusalem team and Romania’s Dinamo Bucharest in a second-leg UEFA Cup game, which was originally scheduled to be held in Jerusalem on August 24.

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