Liverpool spared Israel trip after UEFA ruling

August 7, 2006

Liverpool's Champions League qualifier against Maccabi Haifa will be played on a neutral ground after UEFA today announced no European games will be held in Israel during the current armed conflict.

UEFA have told the Israeli FA and clubs to provide alternative venues within another UEFA member association.

Liverpool are playing Maccabi Haifa at Anfield on Wednesday with the return leg on August 23.

UEFA said in a statement: 'UEFA have today decided in the light of the ongoing armed conflicts in and around Israel, no European competition matches can be staged in the country until further notice.

'UEFA had already decided last week to move the first-leg matches of the UEFA Cup second qualifying round involving Israeli teams to be played outside Israel.

'UEFA has also informed the Israeli FA and its clubs they should be providing alternative venues within the territory of one of the UEFA member associations.

'The UEFA administration will continue to monitor the safety and security situation in Israel and further decisions will be made according to changes in the situation.'

The Israeli FA had made strenuous efforts to persuade UEFA to let them stage games in the capital Tel Aviv, but to no avail.