UEFA postpone Israel’s Euro 2016 qualifier vs. Belgium due to safety fears


UEFA have stepped in and postponed Israel’s 2016 European Championship qualifier against Belgium next month.

Israel were supposed to be hosting Belgium in Jerusalem on Sept. 9 by the game has been switched to March 31, 2015 and no new venue has been announced by UEFA.

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The official reason giving for cancelling the match, then rescheduling was “security reasons” as the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza continues to rumble on.

Last month UEFA ruled that zero matches would be played in Israel during the conflict and has also recently banned games from taking place in Eastern Ukraine amid the uncertain times in that part of the world.

If the conflict is still ongoing by the time next March rolls around, a neutral venue will likely be picked by UEFA for Israel’s home games. Before that Israel are schedule to play Bosnia in November, with the match slated for Haifa. Only time will tell if that fixture will remain in the Middle Eastern nation.

The nearby Mediterranean island of Cyprus usually fits the bill as a neutral venue, with Israeli club sides in UEFA Champions League and Europa League action previously playing in the Cypriot cities of Limassol and Nicosia.

Israel are in Group B for Euro 2016 qualifying alongside Cyprus, Belgium, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Wales. .