No replay of Sweden’s game in Belgium, says Uefa

Sweden’s game against Belgium, abandoned on Monday amid a terror alert in Brussels, will not have to replayed, Uefa has ruled.

The Euro 2024 qualifier was abandoned at half-time for security reasons with the score 1-1.

That followed the shooting dead of two Swedish nationals in the Belgian capital earlier on Monday.

European football’s governing body said the result at the half-time interval “is confirmed as final.”

“Each team is awarded one point with the Group F standings to be updated accordingly,” Uefa added.

“Any suspension is considered served and single yellow cards remain valid.”

The two victims were in Brussels to watch their national side play Belgium, Swedish football officials said.

A third Sweden fan was also seriously injured in the attack, which the authorities have said was a “terror attack targeting Sweden and Swedish citizens”.

The 45-year-old man behind the attack was shot dead by police on Tuesday.

However, the game started while the gunman was still at large because Belgian authorities and police considered the stadium – 5km (three miles) from the location of the shooting – “the safest place”.

At that point a large-scale manhunt was under way and Belgium raised its terror alert to the highest level.

The match was halted at half-time once players and staff learned of the shootings, and supporters were asked to remain in the stadium. An evacuation started at about 22:45 BST, with the last fans and staff leaving at 04:00 local time.

Some 400 Sweden fans were then placed under police protection in hotels in the city before making their way home. Sweden’s football federation has set up emergency help and support lines for those caught up in the incident.

Speaking after the game, Sweden captain and Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof said there was “no reason” to replay the game as Belgium have qualified for next summer’s Euro 2024 tournament and Sweden can no longer do so.

Uefa said on Thursday: “To take the mentioned decision, the Executive Committee took note that it had proved impossible to play the remaining part of the match on the following day.

“Both the Royal Belgian Football Association and the Swedish Football Association, given the circumstances, explicitly expressed their desire not to play the remaining match time and to consider the result at the half-time interval (1-1) as final.

“The result of this match does not impact the qualification of Group F since Belgium is already mathematically qualified to the UEFA EURO 2024 final tournament (together with Austria) and Sweden is mathematically eliminated.

“The respective fixtures do not allow any date to be used in the upcoming November international window, when the preliminary group stage of the competition must be concluded, to be followed by the play-off draw and final tournament draw.”

Meanwhile, the governing body has confirmed that “no Uefa competition matches shall be played in Israel until further notice” because of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Uefa said: “The Israel Football Association and its clubs Maccabi Haifa FC and Maccabi Tel-Aviv have been requested to propose alternative venues/stadiums (which must comply with all applicable UEFA regulations) outside the territory of Israel for their home matches to be used for as long as this decision remains in force.”

Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv were scheduled to play in the Europa League and Europa Conference respectively on 26 October.

Haifa’s trip to Villarreal has been postponed until 6 December with Tel Aviv’s encounter with Zorya Luhansk set for 25 November.

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