13.05.2023 21:11 h

Belarus to play Euro 2024 home qualifiers in Hungary

Hungary's football federation (MLSZ) said Saturday it will host Belarus' two home Euro 2024 qualifiers next month after UEFA ordered them played at a neutral venue.

While Russia was thrown out of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and is banned from Euro 2024 qualifying over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, UEFA refrained from also banning its ally Belarus.

"The Belarusian Federation contacted the MLSZ regarding the location of their upcoming European championship matches," said a statement by the MLSZ sent to AFP.

"The MLSZ recommended several suitable category stadiums to the Belarusian Federation of which they chose the (Ujpest FC) stadium."

The matches against Israel on June 16 and Kosovo three days later will take place behind closed doors at the Budapest venue.

"The agreement between the two federations has also been approved by UEFA," said the MLSZ.

"All costs related to the organisation and staging of the match will be paid by the Belarusian Federation."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, seen by critics as Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest EU ally, has also maintained links with Belarus since the invasion.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto visited Minsk in February and hosted his Belarusian counterpart in Budapest last month.