Israel has scored a European football (soccer) goal and has been selected as the host nation for the 2013 European U21 Championship. The games will take place in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and in several cities around Tel-Aviv with the top eight Under 21 national teams in Europe.
Five stadiums were chosen to host the games: the National Stadium in Ramat-Gan, Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, Blumfield Stadium in Tel-Aviv and two new stadiums that will be built – one in Natanya and the other in Petah Tikva. Israel competed with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England and Wales for the honor of hosting the championships. The draw for qualifying competition will take place in Nyon on February 3rd.
The fans traveling to Israel for the U21 Championships will be able to enjoy a variety of attractions between the games and presents an ideal opportunity for touring Israel. The stadiums are a short driving distance apart, around 30 minutes to an hour, which will enable watching the games and enjoying the sites and attractions in between matches. Israel offers beaches, natural parks, museums, historical and religious sites. Israel has all the facilities and services required for touring including many great restaurants, pubs and shows.
Tel-Aviv and Netanya are on the Mediterranean Sea with beautiful beaches. Petah-Tikva and Ramat-Gan are in the Tel-Aviv metro region, around 30 minutes drive from the beach. As a football tourist, the games will take place very close to the main attractions of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. It is worth extending the trip and visiting other regions and attractions such as the Christian Pilgrimage sites in Nazareth and around the Sea of Galilee, The Galilee, the Dead Sea (a candidate for being declared one of the Seven Wonders of the World), UNESCO Heritage sites in the south such as Masada and the city of Eilat on the Red Sea.
Here is some background on the grounds where the 2013 European Championship will take place:
- Ramat-Gan National Stadium – In the city of Ramat-Gan this is the stadium in which the national team is playing. It holds up to 41000 fans.
- Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem – The stadium opened in 1991 and holds up to 21000 fans. It is the home stadium for the Betar Jerusalem. The stadium will go through expansion and renovation, and will hold up to 30000 fans in time for the games.
- Blumfield Stadium in Tel-Aviv – Opened its gates in 1962. Since then went through several rounds of renovations the latest in 2010. Holds up to 15000 fans.
- Petah-Tikva Stadium – A new stadium that will open its gates on the later part of 2011. The stadium will hold up to 12000 fans
- Netanya Stadium – A new stadium that will host the 2013 games. The stadium will hold up to 16000 fans