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'Impossible' to host Belgium-Israel match, Brussels city says

On Wednesday, the government of Brussels declared that holding a football match between Belgium and Israel in September would be unfeasible due to security concerns.

Published June 19,2024
Hosting a Belgium-Israel football match in Brussels in September would be "impossible to organize" due to security concerns, the city's government said on Wednesday.

Highlighting the "situation in the Middle East," referring to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the city's government warned that hosting the Israeli football team would "provoke major demonstrations and counter-demonstrations."

In declining to host the match, the Belgian capital's government said such public activity would compromise "the safety of spectators, players, the people of Brussels and our police force."

Talks had been ongoing with security authorities in Belgium for several months to host the game as part of the Nations League contest on September 6 in the King Baudouin Stadium.

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, triggered in response to the October 7 terror attacks on Israel, has prompted mass pro-Palestinian demonstrations in European countries, including in Belgium, in protest of the conflict and the toll of Palestinian civilian casualties.