Football is the most popular sport in Israel
, a country with two professional leagues and famous teams such as Hapoel and Maccabi that are known the world over. In international football, Israel
have caused many surprises, such as in the 1968 Olympic Football Tournament in Mexico for example, with only the luck of the draw preventing the Israelis from reaching the semi-finals (lots were drawn to separate teams at the end of matches). For political reasons, Israel
is now a member of UEFA, but in 1964, Israel
hosted and won the Asian Nations Cup. However, modern-day Israeli football has been deeply affected and restricted by a series of tragic events. Consequently, the Israel
Football Association is determined to try and bring about an improvement in the situation ahead of the preliminary round for the next FIFA World Cup? in order to once again provide the football fans in Tel Aviv and Nazareth with football of the very highest quality. The Israel
U-17 team that played at the 2002 UEFA U-17 European Championship also promises much for the future.