Security cited for canceling Israel men’s soccer exhibition game at Bosnia-Herzegovina next week

Israel supporters cheer during the Euro 2024 qualifying play-off soccer match between Israel and Iceland, at Szusza Ferenc Stadium in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Israel supporters cheer during the Euro 2024 qualifying play-off soccer match between Israel and Iceland, at Szusza Ferenc Stadium in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Israel’s soccer friendly at Bosnia-Herzegovina next week was canceled on Friday. UEFA cited the “current security situation” as a reason.

The two men’s teams should have played on Tuesday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo after both were eliminated on Thursday in qualifying playoffs for the European Championship.

Israel lost to Iceland 4-1 in a ‘home’ game it had to play in a neutral country because of security concerns during the country’s conflict with Hamas. Israel chose to play in Budapest, Hungary.

The makeup game in Bosnia was part of the UEFA-organized match schedule for national teams and a centralized broadcasting contract the European soccer body’s member federations are obliged to fulfil.

UEFA said in a statement the Bosnian and Israeli soccer federations agreed not to play ”in light of the current security situation” and their elimination from Euro 2024.

Bosnian and Israeli national and club teams have no restrictions on being drawn to play each other in UEFA competitions. UEFA does intervene in draws to stop Bosnian teams being paired with teams from Kosovo for political and security reasons.

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