Israel played Switzerland to a 1-1 draw in a qualifying match for next summer’s European Football Championship in Felcsút (central Hunagry) on Wednesday. The event was attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Ruben Vargas gave Switzerland the lead in the 36th minute, before Shon Weissman equalized in the 88th minute. Ferencváros’s Israeli player Mohammed Abu Fani was on the pitch throughout the whole game.
As Hungary Today previously reported,
the meeting had to be postponed in October due to the armed conflict between Palestine and Israel, and was moved to the Pancho Arena, a neutral venue, for the same reason.
Switzerland would have qualified for next summer’s continental tournament in Germany with a win, but a draw is also a positive result for them as they maintained their comfortable four-point lead over third-placed Israel.
The Israeli team after the match. Photo via MTI/Vasvári Tamás
The Middle Eastern team will host Romania at Pancho Arena on Saturday, November 18.
The match was attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that: “Today, the beautiful Pancho Arena in my hometown, Felcsút, is home to the EURO2024 qualifier between Israel and Switzerland. Over 10 years ago, we introduced a policy of zero-tolerance towards anti-Semitism. Today, Hungary is the safest country in Europe for the Jewish community.” In the second photo the head of government is pictured with Yacov Hadas Handelsman, the Israeli Ambassador to Hungary.
Yacov Hadas-Handelsman said that many factors were taken into account before choosing the venue, one of the most important being security.
Israeli athletes have good experience with Hungary, the sports facilities are excellent and the Hungarians always organize similar events to a high standard,”
In his other social media post on Facebook, the prime minster wrote “Respect Israel” and called Hungary “the island of peace.”
FactAccording to the penal code adopted in 2012, there is zero tolerance for anti-Semitism in Hungary. In addition, the Holocaust is taught in schools, there is a day of remembrance, and the law against hate speech guarantees that the horrors of the Holocaust cannot be denied or relativized. As Somló Kőves, Chief Rabbi of the EMIH Association of United Hungarian Jewish Congregatio put it: “Hungary is one of the safest places for European Jewry today. The Hungarian Jewish community is enjoying a renaissance.”
Via MTI, Featured image via Twitter/Orbán Viktor