UEFA: Israel's 'Complex' Situation Endangers 2020 Euro Host Bid

A UEFA ruling in July stopped Israel from playing international matches in the country during the conflict with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem
Teddy Stadium in JerusalemCredit: Tal Cohen

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) raised concerns Wednesday about Israel's and Russia's capacity to host matches for the 2020 European Championship because of the political instability in both countries.

UEFA will choose 13 host cities across Europe for the tournament at a September 19 meeting of its executive committee. It must decide on whether to pick St. Petersburg and Jerusalem among the hosts.

In its evaluation report of the bids published Wednesday, UEFA said that the political situation in Israel is "complex" and acknowledged Russia's political situation as "increasingly complex."

A UEFA ruling in July stopped Israel from playing international matches in the country during the conflict with Hamas militants in Gaza. Russia, which will host the 2018 World Cup, has been widely criticized for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

"The Israeli political situation is described in the bid as complex, an assessment confirmed by independent institutions," UEFA said. "It is acknowledged that considerable investments would be required for such a project to be implemented, without, however, any further details being provided."

Twelve winning bidders will each host three group-stage matches and a single knockout match from the last-16 or quarterfinals rounds. England and Germany have submitted bids for the prestige package of semifinals and final.

While praising the overall quality and security standards of the new stadium planned in St. Petersburg, UEFA also said it did not receive sufficient information regarding the budget and the renovation work at the 32,000-capacity Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.

"Regarding safety and security, the stadium has not provided any relevant certificates or evacuation plan," the report added.

Regarding Scotland's bid to host matches at Glasgow's Hampden Park, UEFA noted that the city had good experience in hosting major events but added that the result of next week's independence referendum could be a potential issue.

"Scotland being part of the U.K., the legal situation is mostly — but not entirely — identical to that of England and Wales," UEFA said. "The situation may have to be reassessed should Scotland become independent of the U.K. following the referendum."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff

U.S. President Joe Biden. Making a historic pivot to Asia.

Biden Does What His Three Predecessors Talked About Yet Failed to Do

Meir Kahane addressing his followers during a demonstration in Jerusalem, in 1984.

Why the U.S. Removed Kahane Chai From Terrorist Blacklist