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Aug 29, 2014

Germany postpone Israel friendly over 'unsettled situation'

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop weighs in on Per Mertesacker's decision to retire from international competition.

World Cup winners Germany have agreed to postpone their planned international friendly with Israel next year to make way for a Euro 2016 qualifying match.

Israel's qualifier against Belgium, originally scheduled for Sept. 8, was recently postponed with UEFA currently forbidding any of its official matches from taking place in the country due to the unsettled situation. That game could now be rescheduled for March 25, the day Israel were meant to face Germany in a friendly.

The world champions have accepted Israel's request to postpone the friendly to allow their qualifier to take place that day instead.

"Of course it's very sad for all of us that this friendly will not take place due to this unsettled situation in the region,'' said the German Football Association's (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach. "But it was immediately clear to the DFB that we would accept the request from our friends in Israel.

"We all now hope that the situation there settles down and the sporting importance of their game (against Belgium) dominates the headlines when it comes around.''

The two federations are in talks about possibly rescheduling their friendly while the DFB is also now looking for another opponent to play four days ahead of their clash with Georgia on March 29.

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