Israel-Hamas War: No competition matches to be played in Israel until further notice – UEFA

No matches organised by UEFA will be played in Israel “until further notice” due to the “current safety and security situation” in the country, European football’s governing body said in a statement.

UEFA has also announced the postponement of Maccabi Haifa’s UEFA Europa League Group F clash with Villarreal, moving it from Thursday, October 26 to Wednesday, December 6.

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Group B game against Zorya Luhansk in the UEFA Europa Conference League – due to be played on October 26 – has been moved to Saturday, November 25.

UEFA said in a statement on Thursday: “After a thorough evaluation of the current safety and security situation in the whole territory of Israel, the UEFA Executive Committee decided that no UEFA competition matches shall be played in Israel until further notice.

“The Israel Football Association and its clubs Maccabi Haifa FC and Maccabi Tel-Aviv have been requested to propose alternative venues/stadiums (which must comply with all applicable UEFA regulations) outside the territory of Israel for their home matches to be used for as long as this decision remains in force.”

Maccabi Haifa are currently bottom of Group F with just one point from their opening two Europa League matches.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, who are managed by former Premier League striker Robbie Keane are third in Group B on three points after two games played in their Conference League group.

UEFA have also announced that the European qualifier between Belgium and Sweden which was abandoned at half-time on Monday night, following a terrorist attack that saw two Swedish nationals killed in Brussels, will be counted as a 1-1 draw.

UEFA said: “To take the mentioned decision, the Executive Committee took note that it had proved impossible to play the remaining part of the match on the following day.

“Both the Royal Belgian Football Association and the Swedish Football Association, given the circumstances, explicitly expressed their desire not to play the remaining match time and to consider the result at the half-time interval (1-1) as final.

“The result of this match does not impact the qualification of Group F since Belgium is already mathematically qualified to the UEFA EURO 2024 final tournament (together with Austria) and Sweden is mathematically eliminated.

“The respective fixtures do not allow any date to be used in the upcoming November international window, when the preliminary group stage of the competition must be concluded, to be followed by the play-off draw and final tournament draw.”