Brussels says ‘impossible’ to host upcoming Belgium-Israel soccer game due to security risk

Police patrol outside the King Baudouin Stadium, after a match between Belgium and Sweden was suspended, after a shooting in the center of Brussels, October 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Sylvain Plazy)
Police patrol outside the King Baudouin Stadium, after a match between Belgium and Sweden was suspended, after a shooting in the center of Brussels, October 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Sylvain Plazy)

Staging an upcoming UEFA soccer match between Belgium and Israel in Brussels would be impossible due to insecurity and likely protests, the municipal government of the Belgian capital says.

“The city of Brussels considers it impossible to organize a Belgium-Israel match in the King Baudouin Stadium,” it says in a statement.

“After a careful and in-depth analysis, we must conclude today that the announcement of such a match in our capital in these particularly troubled times will undoubtedly lead to large demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, jeopardizing the safety of spectators, players, Brussels residents and our police forces.”

The UEFA Nations League match is scheduled for September 6, 2024; tickets initially went on sale but were paused in May.

Last year, a soccer game between Belgium and Sweden at the King Baudouin Stadium was suspended at halftime after a gunman shot and killed two people in the capital city.

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