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Platini: "I am proud to be in Israel as UEFA President"
06/10/2009 21:00 

UEFA President Michel Platini concluded his visit to Israel this evening (Tuesday) at a joint press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, together with IFA Chairman Avi Luzon and Mordechay Shpiegler, who translated Platini's words.

Luzon opened the press conference by welcoming Platini: "I am happy and pleased to host the President of UEFA. The President is a personal friend, and a true friend of the Israel Football Association. Mr. Platini has always been on our side, supported the return of matches to Israel, and always asserted that Israel was one of the safest places in the world in terms of security".

Platini, who will be coming to Israel in March together with the Presidents of all the European Associations for the UEFA Congress to be held here, said: "I am proud to be in Israel for the first time as UEFA President."

In regard to the election of Avi Luzon to the UEFA Executive Committee, Platini said: "His election is an excellent opportunity for the Israeli IFA Chairman who is at the heart of the action in UEFA, and among those making decisions about the present and future of football. His first victory is that the upcoming UEFA Congress will be held here."

Platini also mentioned the Israel National Team: "Israeli football has improved, and we see successful Israeli players participating in major teams in Europe. To build a great National Team, you need many talented players, and that is difficult. Nonetheless, one can see that the gaps in Europe have narrowed."

About the possibility of future international tournaments being held in Israel, the UEFA President said: "When a proposal of that kind is put forward, we will discuss it. Once you have improved stadiums, it will be possible to host international tournaments here as well."

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