JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel President Shimon Peres has guaranteed that the 2013 European under-21 championship will be safer in Israel than it would be in London.
Peres and UEFA President Michel Platini were adamant Thursday that having the tournament hosted by Israel next summer is the right choice.
Peres is confident the event will proceed smoothly, saying, "When you come in June, it will be more secure and tranquil than a football game in London."
Platini is proud Israel is the host, despite receiving "many letters" opposing the bid. On Wednesday, he attended the under-21 draw in Tel Aviv and a Europa League game in Haifa to assuage skeptics after a bus bombing that wounded 27 people in Tel Aviv last week.
He says, "Football is a beautiful thing for peace."