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UEFA and the Israeli issue


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Guest Juanky

Uefa to rule on Reds' Israel tie

Champions League

Uefa will announce on 7 August whether Liverpool have to travel to Israel for their Champions League tie with Maccabi Haifa on 22 or 23 August.

 

European football's governing body said on Monday that Israel could not host Uefa Cup second qualifying round games because of its conflict with Lebanon.

 

The matches will be moved to a neutral country, with Cyprus a likely venue.

 

Reds boss Rafael Benitez has said it is 'totally unacceptable' to go to Israel given the current security situation.

 

Uefa's decision to move Uefa Cup games will affect Hapoel Tel Aviv's home tie against NK Domzale of Slovenia on 8 August.

 

Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv's home match with Bulgaria's Lokomotiv Sofia on 10 August will also be moved to a neutral venue.

 

As well as Liverpool's match with Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem's Uefa Cup second qualifying round clash on 24 August with Dinamo Bucharest could be affected.

 

Israeli FA chairman Iche Menahem reacted angrily to the news and said the IFA would "respond severely and will not let the decision pass unchallenged".

 

"I would like Uefa to take this decision while they are here in Israel and not from their offices in Switzerland," Menahem said in a statement.

 

International football returned to Israel in April 2004 after a 25-month ban due to the worsening security situation in the country.

 

Matches can only be played in the Tel Aviv area.

 

Between March 2002 and April 2004 Israeli clubs and teams were forced to host their opponents at a number of European venues including Cyprus, Turkey, Italy and Bulgaria.

BBC News

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