(Reuters) Police have called in reinforcements and tightened security for Tuesday's Champions League qualifier between Israel's Maccabi Haifa and Liverpool in Kiev.
Haifa are hosting Liverpool in the third qualifying round second leg in the Ukrainian capital after UEFA banned all fixtures in Israel due to the 34-day war pitting the Jewish state against Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
"Police have been put on a special regime. Our presence will be higher than is usual during soccer games," the Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Interior Ministry Yuri Lutsenko as saying.
"Police in this instance are concerned over security. Measures will be taken to prevent potential terrorist action."
He told Interfax he was not worried about "fans beating each other up". Rather, he was concerned about racist incidents and guarding against any attempt at a terrorist act.
The presence of teams from Britain and Israel, he said, complicated security preparations as both countries "had been witness to terrorist acts or attempted acts". Liverpool go into the match at the 17,000-seat Dynamo stadium with a 2-1 lead from the first leg at Anfield.
UEFA this month ruled that no European competition matches could be played in Israel.
However the head of Israel's governing soccer body, Iche Menahem, said on Monday he had received a "very encouraging letter" from UEFA Chief Executive Lars-Christer Olsson on proposals to end the ban on playing in the country.
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