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Scotland v Israel: Why Euro 2025 qualifier is going ahead

Written by on May 29, 2024

Scotland and Israel were drawn together in Group B2 of Euro 2025 qualifying – alongside Serbia and Slovakia – in March.

Having drawn in Serbia and beaten the Slovaks at Hampden in their first two games, the Scots were always scheduled to host Israel in back-to-back matches.

In the aftermath of the 7 October attack by Hamas and the Israeli government’s military response, European football’s governing body, Uefa, decided no matches in it’s own competitions could be held in Israel for security reasons.

As a result, Hungary has mostly been the home of both Israel’s men’s and women’s football teams in the last seven months.

Club sides Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa played Europa League and Europa Conference League games in Hungary as well.

That’s why Tuesday’s return tie with Scotland is taking place in Budapest.

Despite moving games out of Israel, Uefa has always been clear that Israeli sides would continue to play matches in continental competitions.

That has come despite some pressure to exclude Israel and its teams, as Uefa and Fifa did to Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“There was no such discussion or such intention from the Uefa administration,” general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said in February.

“These are two completely different situations of two countries.”

An automatic forfeit applies if a team – such as Scotland – refuses to play a match.

Uefa can also open disciplinary proceedings, which could result in disqualification from the competition altogether.

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