FELCSUT, Hungary — A European Championship qualifying sport between Switzerland and Israel ended with a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, a match that introduced the Israeli workforce to Hungary in spite of everything scheduled video games in Tel Aviv had been postponed because of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The match was certainly one of two “house video games” Israel is internet hosting in Felcsut, a Hungarian village of round 1,900 folks, because it chases a qualifying place within the Euro 2024 continental championship. If the workforce qualifies, it will likely be its first time since becoming a member of the European soccer federation in 1994.
Forward of the sport, followers draped in Israeli flags gathered outdoors the closely guarded stadium, singing chants as their workforce’s bus arrived.
The temper was celebratory, however some followers — a few of whom traveled from as far-off as Israel to attend the match — had been solemn in describing the importance of the competition.
“We’re going by way of a really, very tough time proper now, and it simply felt proper,” stated Aaron Morali, an Israeli fan who drove two hours from Vienna, Austria to observe the sport. “We’re Jewish, we’re right here … It was crucial for us to come back right here.”
Some followers within the stands held up indicators bearing the faces of Israelis kidnapped through the Oct. 7 Hamas assault inside Israel that killed round 1,200 folks.
As fears of antisemitic acts are on the rise throughout Europe, the safety of the Israeli workforce was a decisive think about bringing the rescheduled qualifying video games to Hungary.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has a vacation house solely steps away from the three,500-seat Pancho Area in Felcsut, has lengthy claimed that Hungary is among the most secure locations in Europe for Jewish folks, and maintains shut relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As the sport approached, heightened safety remodeled the ordinarily quiet village, making the presence of police and different safety forces obvious to native inhabitants.
“The village is a bit the other way up, everyone going out and in of the power is checked,” stated Rikardo Mate, a Felcsut resident.
After Wednesday’s sport, Israel stays in third place in Group I of Euro 2024 qualifying, behind Switzerland and Romania with 16 factors every. The highest two groups routinely qualify for Euro 2024 in Germany.
Israel’s subsequent match in opposition to Romania might be held in Felcsut on Saturday.