Israel's men's soccer team is headed to the Olympics for the first time since 1976


Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Israeli players on the country's under-21 team celebrate a victory in the UEFA European U21 Championship playoff round against the Republic of Ireland at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Sept. 27, 2022.

(JTA) - Israel's national men's soccer team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years by making a surprising run at a major under-21 European tournament.

Israel lost to England on Wednesday in the semifinals of the UEFA European U-21 Championship, a biennial contest among the continent's best under-21 teams. But three days earlier, after a win in the playoff round against Georgia, Israel earned a place at the 2024 Paris Olympics alongside just 15 other countries.

Soccer at the Olympics is an under-23 tournament, although each team is allowed three roster spots for pla...

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