Uefa ready to home in on Hapoel

By Simon Griver, August 12, 2010

Hapoel Tel Aviv are facing home heartache after being warned that their Bloomfield Stadium is unfit to hold Champions League Group matches.

Uefa has told the Israeli side that they must play their games at the National Stadium in Ramat Gan should they succeed in defeating Red Bull Salzburg in their play-off clash.

Hapoel, who travel to Austria for the first leg next Wednesday, are set to appeal before they host the return game on August 24.

Hapoel would prefer to receive only one third of the gate receipts at Bloomfield with its 13,000 capacity than at Ramat Gan with 40,000 seats because they feel the noisier atmosphere of their compact home stadium gives far greater encouragement to the team.

Meanwhile, Hapoel will be hoping for a repeat result of last year's play-off round when Maccabi Haifa beat Salzburg both home and away for a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Hapoel manager Eli Guttman said, "This is a team that has improved from last year and has a very big budget. We expect two very difficult games."

Meanwhile in the Europa League play-off round, Maccabi Tel Aviv have been drawn against Paris St. Germain.

Maccabi will travel to Paris on August 19 with the return in Tel Aviv on August 26.

Last updated: 2:18pm, August 12 2010