“Transcending soccer, European Under-21 championship kicks off in Israel” – By Uzi Dann – Jun.05, 2013
The championship, which begins today in Netanya, is attracting interest in Israel ? for once, for the right reasons.
With all due respect to the Israeli soccer coaches currently plying their trade in Belgium and Cyprus, to the players who have broken into the English and Spanish leagues and to the players’ agents who broker multi-million dollar deals, European soccer barely gives Israel a second thought.
For the most part, European soccer fans only think of Israel when their team ? be it club or country ? is playing against an Israeli team, or in the context of regional security concerns. Now all that has changed. There has been a buzz of late ? and not just surrounding the calls for countries to boycott the European Under-21 Championship, which gets underway tonight in Netanya ? but about the tournament itself and the fact that Israel was selected to host it.
Some would say that the continent-wide interest shown in recent weeks is rather surprising, since Under-21 teams rarely grab the headlines. And yet, this is still a major sporting event. …
“Israel hosts Euro U21s amid tight security” – Ynet
UEFA holds firm against calls from pro-Palestinian activists to move tournament away from Jewish state, which is staging its most important international sporting event in 45 years
Israel stages its most important international sporting event in 45 years on Wednesday when the hosts kick off the Euro Under-21 football championship amid tight security following a politically-charged build-up.
European soccer’s governing body UEFA has held firm against calls from pro-Palestinian activists to move the tournament away from Israel, who are the weakest of the eight teams competing, because of restrictions on the movement of their athletes.
Israel start their campaign against Norway, who coach Guy Luzon surprisingly believes are the toughest team in Group A ahead of usual favorites Italy and England. …
“Euro -21 en Israël: notre rêve devient réalité !”
http://jssnews.com/2013/06/05/euro-21-en-israel-notre-reve-devient-realite/ et http://fr.uefa.com/under21/news/newsid=1959656.html
Volg het kampioenschap: surf naar http://www.uefa.com/under21/news/newsid=1959367.html
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Haaretz / Ynet – Op de foto: de voorbereidingen voor Euro -21 in Israël