Last updated: 21 November, 2012

Bilbao match in Israel suspended

UEFA postponed a match between Spain’s Athletic Bilbao and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in Israel due to deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians, European football’s governing body said Wednesday.

“The match has been postponed due to the precarious security situation” in Israel, where a bombing on a bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning injured 17 people, a UEFA official told AFP.

In the conflict that broke out last week, Israel has launched airstrikes against Palestinian targets in the Gaza strip and Gaza-based militants have fired rockets at Israel.

The Bilbao players had been set to fly to Tel Aviv and travel north by coach to play the Europa League tie in the city of Haifa against Kiryat Shmona, a team from northern Israel.

“On learning of the (bus) attack we spoke to the Spanish Football Federation, UEFA and the Spanish embassy in Tel Aviv. We ended up announcing the postponement of the match,” said Athletic Bilbao’s president Josu Urrutia.

“We are ready to play there when security can be guaranteed.”

The UEFA official said a new date for the match would be set “by the end of the week”.