Brussels Declines Hosting Israel-Belgium Match Due to Security Concerns


  • The European Championship qualifying match between Israel and Belgium was scheduled to be held in Brussels on March 27, 2024.
  • Brussels has hosted international football matches for decades without significant security incidents.

Recent Decision:

  • The Brussels regional government has decided not to host the Israel-Belgium match due to "serious and specific" security concerns.
  • The decision was made in consultation with the Belgian Football Union (RBFA), the Israeli Football Association, and the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR).

Reasons for Decision:

  • Potential Protests and Violence: Brussels has a history of protests and riots, particularly in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Threat of Terrorism: Belgium remains on a high alert level for terrorism, and there have been concerns about potential attacks by extremist groups.
  • Insufficient Security Resources: The BCR expressed concerns that it would not have sufficient security forces available to guarantee the safety of the match and its attendees.

Concerns Raised by Israel:

  • The Israeli Football Association expressed disappointment and dismay over the decision, stating that it was "politically motivated."
  • Israel claims that the security concerns are exaggerated and that Brussels has hosted similar events without incident.

Response from Belgian Authorities:

  • The RBFA expressed its regret over the decision but acknowledged the need to prioritize safety.
  • The BCR emphasized that the decision was not related to politics or any boycott of Israel, but solely based on security assessments.
  • The Belgian government stated that it would work with UEFA to find an alternative venue for the match.

Potential Impact:

  • The match could be moved to another city in Belgium or to a different country altogether.
  • The decision may have broader implications for the hosting of international sports events in Brussels.
  • It could raise questions about the safety of hosting matches involving teams from countries with ongoing conflicts.

Alternative Venues:

  • Possible alternative venues within Belgium include Antwerp, Ghent, or Charleroi.
  • Other European cities that could potentially host the match include Amsterdam, Paris, or London.

Ongoing Negotiations:

  • UEFA is currently in discussions with the RBFA and the Israeli Football Association to determine the best course of action.
  • The goal is to find a suitable alternative venue that can ensure the safety and security of the match and its attendees.


The Brussels regional government's decision not to host the Israel-Belgium match has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the safety and feasibility of hosting high-profile sports events in certain cities. While Belgium remains on high alert for terrorism and has experienced protests related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Israeli Football Association has questioned the validity of the security concerns. UEFA is currently negotiating with the involved parties to find an alternative venue for the match that prioritizes the safety and well-being of all involved.

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