'Israel/Scotland playoff tie on for now,' says Barzel

More than 500 Israel fans are planning to ignore the advice of the Health Ministry regarding the coronavirus to cheer the national team in their crucial Euro 2020 playoff against Scotland at Hampden Park later this month.


Last week a statement from the Israeli Health Ministry warned against “unnecessary overseas travel,” but officials at the IFA have told us they are planning for the game to go ahead until advised otherwise.

Speaking from Amsterdam ahead of the draw for next season’s Nations League, IFA head of communications Shlomi Barzel said: “We still hope to sell a few hundred more tickets but it’s a long and expensive trip to Scotland and that is putting people off, not the virus. “Nobody has asked for their money back because they are cancelling the trip.”

Barzel said: “I spoke with the heads of the Scottish FA on Tuesday and they told me reports suggesting the match will be played behind closed doors are nonsense, although, of course, we are aware the situation can always change very quickly.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are in dialogue with our counterparts in Europe to share news and best practice on what is a serious and concerning situation.

“At the moment, there have been no indications that match schedules will be affected.

“Together with the SFA, we will coordinate the game’s response to the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak in a responsible manner.”

The winners of the Scotland/Israel match are scheduled to play Norway or Serbia on March 31 for a place in the Euro 2020 finals.

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