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How the Israel-Hamas war is affecting sports: Postponed matches and trapped players

Sport is not isolated from the current situation between Israel and Palestine. Thousands of wounded and dead are paying with their lives for the conflict between the two nations. After the attack by the Hamas militant group, a conflict that has been going on for endless years has been rekindled and is about to begin a new and difficult chapter. Tensions are mounting between the two sides and the whole world is watching what is happening in the Gaza Strip with trepidation.

Euroleague suspends two basketball games

As mentioned, sport has not been isolated and has already suffered the first consequences of the war between Israel and Hamas. The first major organization to make a move was the Euroleague basketball league. With an official communication, the organization announced the postponement of two games that were to take place in the coming days.

The BKT Eurocup match between Hapoel Shlomo Tel Aviv and Wolves Vinius, which should be played next Wednesday, is pending a new date. As for the Euroleague match between Emporio Armani Milan and Maccabi Tel Aviv next Thursday, it has also been suspended due to the war situation in Israel.

Maccabi Tel Aviv players have been transferred to Cyprus. First, it was the foreign players who headed for the small Mediterranean island, the Israelis will follow once they have been able to ensure the safety of their families. The Euroleague is studying the possibility of allowing them to compete normally in Cyprus.

UEFA follows in Euroleague's footsteps and suspends all Israel-related games

Hours after the official announcement by the Euroleague, UEFA followed suit and announced the postponement of all matches involving the Israel national team and its youth teams.

The match between Israel and Switzerland, a qualifier for Euro 2024, which was to be played next Thursday, is awaiting a new date. The match between Israel and Kosovo next Sunday, also a Euro 2024 qualifier, is still on but could be postponed in the coming hours.

In addition to these senior national team matches, UEFA has postponed Israel's U21 matches against Estonia and Germany, as well as an U17 tournament that was to pit Israel, Belgium, Gibraltar and Wales against each other.

Evidently, soccer there has taken a back seat and it was the Israel Football Federation that made it official that domestic competition would be suspended until further notice. The break is expected to be a long one and there is no date for soccer to return to the Middle Eastern country.

Josep María Berrocal.

Josep María Berrocal.

Players trapped and killed by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

From MARCA, we have told you about the situations of Josep Maria Berrocal, assistant coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Jose Rodriguez, footballer of the same Israeli club, both trapped in the country by the war conflict between the two countries in the Middle East.

Berrocal said: "all the big houses have a shielded and protected refuge room, which is where we sleep. If the alarm sounds you have a minute and a half to get into the room. It is shocking to hear the missiles. It's all very beastly."

Most heartbreaking is listening to the questions her children ask her, frightened by the conflict just a short distance from home. "They ask me, 'Daddy, will there be more shooting today? Where we go there will be war too?'"

In addition to the testimonies of players, athletes, coaches and other sports personnel who are trapped in the country by the war conflict, there is a case that has shaken everyone and shocked everyone.

It is the case of Lior Assulin. The former soccer player was celebrating his 43rd birthday in an area of southern Israel when the terrorist group Hamas attacked the shopping mall where he was staying, killing numerous people, including Lior Assulin. Hapoel Tel Aviv, the club he played for, confirmed the fateful news.

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