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Israel Qualifies For Paris 2024 Olympics In Men’s Football

Israeli team secures spot after reaching semifinals of UEFA European Under-21 Championship
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Israel has qualified for the men’s football (soccer) competition at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by advancing to the semifinals of the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

According to the qualification criteria, the top three ranked teams earn quotas to the upcoming Olympic Games. The other two are Spain and Ukraine.

Israel advanced to the semifinals after beating Georgia 4-3 on penalties on July 1.

Paris 2024 will mark the country’s first Olympic appearance in a football tournament since tying for fifth place at Montreal in 1976.

“We made history today,” Israel’s goalkeeper Daniel Perez told after the quarterfinal victory.

Israel U-21 attacking midfielder Oscar Gloukh with Player of the Match trophy. Photo courtesy of UEFA

“It’s not just me. It’s all the team. I don’t think Georgia had a shot on target in 120 minutes. Amazing effort from the team, amazing tactics from the coach who believes in us so much.”

The team is comprised of Jewish and Arab Israelis from across Israel.

TBILISI, GEORGIA – JULY 1: Players of Israel under-21 team celebrate during the UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023 quarter-final match between Georgia and Israel at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena on July 1, 2023 in Tbilisi, Georgia. PHOTO BY LEVAN VERDZEULI/GETTY IMAGES 

The Israel vs. Georgia game drew 44,338 spectators, making it the most-attended UEFA U-21 final tournament match in history.

The only previous times Israel made the semifinals of a UEFA final tournament were the 1996 U-16 Euro and the 2022 U-19 Euro. In the latter competition, Israel beat France and ended as runners-up with a squad containing several members of the current U21 team, some of whom also took the FIFA U-20 World Cup bronze in Argentina last month.

On July 5, Israel’s team will face off against England in the semifinals, to be held in Batumi, Georgia.




Produced in association with ISRAEL21c

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