UEFA bars matches in Israel, blocks Russia and Ukraine teams drawing each other
By Football News
UEFA has placed restrictions on Israeli teams playing in European competitions, while sides from Ukraine and Russia will be kept apart.
The UEFA Emergency Panel met on Wednesday and ruled that no matches are to take place in Israel due to current political tensions in the Middle East.
Maccabi Tel Aviv must now find an alternative venue for their Champions League second round qualifying tie with Santa Coloma, while Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Be'er Sheva are also impacted in the Europa League.
"Due to the current security situation in Israel, no UEFA competition matches may be played in the country until further notice," read a statement from UEFA.
"Consequently, the Israeli clubs involved in forthcoming fixtures have been requested to propose alternative venues outside of Israel's territory for their home legs in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League."
UEFA also confirmed that, due to the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine, teams from the two nations will not be drawn with another in UEFA competitions.
"In light of the current political situation, the Russian Football Union [RFS] and the Football Federation of Ukraine [FFU] have expressed concerns about safety and security in the case of Russian and Ukrainian teams being drawn against each other in UEFA competition.
"After evaluating the request and taking into account the safety and security situation in the region, the UEFA Emergency Panel has decided that Ukrainian and Russian teams cannot be drawn against each other until further notice.
"Consequently, Zenit and Dnipro will be prevented from being pitted together when the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw is made on July 18."