Bel­gians happy to play ball

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY JC RE­PORTER

FOOT­BALL Is­rael’s open­ing home match in the Euro 2016 qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment against Bel­gium has been post­poned un­til March 31 due to the Gaza con­flict.

Is­rael were due to host the group favourites on Septem­ber 9, but the game will now be played in Jerusalem, three days af­ter Is­rael hosts Wales at the Sammy Ofer Sta­dium in Haifa.

Bel­gium’s flex­i­bil­ity was re­port­edly due to next month’s vote on which 13 cities will host matches at the Euro 2020 fi­nals, with Brus­sels one of 19 can­di­dates, along with Jerusalem. For­mer Is­rael FA chief Avi Lu­zon sits on Uefa’s Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee as chair­man.

Is­rael had ar­ranged to play a friendly against world cham­pi­ons Ger­many in Jerusalem on March 25, but that game has been post­poned.

Eli Guttman’s men will be­gin their qual­i­fy­ing campaign with away matches in Cyprus on Oc­to­ber 10 fol­lowed by An­dorra three days later.

Mean­while, Yossi Be­nay­oun has con­firmed that he will take part in a Peace match at the Olympic Sta­dium in Rome on Septem­ber 1.

The open­ing round of matches in Li­gat Ha’Al are sched­uled to get un­der way this week­end, a week later than sched­uled due to se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion.

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