Israel captain Eli Dasa held up the shoe of a young boy he said was kidnapped by Hamas militants in an emotional tribute during a press conference ahead of the match against Switzerland. Dasa addressed reporters in Felcsut, Hungary, where Israel played two 'home games' due to the security situation in their country.
The shoe belonged to eight-year-old Nave Shoham, who was abducted along with seven relatives from the Be'eri kibbutz in Israel. Dasa's act of solidarity aimed to bring attention to the plight of Israelis held captive in Gaza.
Before the game, Israel fans displayed banners and posters depicting those who were kidnapped by Hamas during last month's attacks. Supporters draped in Israeli flags gathered outside the stadium, singing chants as the team arrived.
In the Euro 2024 qualifier against Switzerland, Shon Weissman scored an 88th minute equalizer, resulting in a 1-1 draw. This was one of the four games Israel had to play in just nine days to complete their qualifying campaign.
This tribute comes amid ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestine, with around 1,200 people killed during the attacks on October 7. Furthermore, more than 11,000 Palestinians have lost their lives since then due to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Israel's remaining matches will be against Romania on Saturday and Andorra next Tuesday. The team is hopeful to make a strong finish in the qualifying campaign despite the challenges they have faced.