UEFA Champions League: Hibernians drawn with Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Hibernians were paired with Maccabi Tel-Aviv of Israel in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, the draws for which were held in Nyon on Monday.

The first leg is scheduled for July 14/15 and July 21/22. Hibernians will be playing the first leg at home.

Last season, Maccabi Tel-Aviv won the championship after finishing their Championship Pool commitments in the Ligat ha’Al on top with 70 points, six ahead of runners-up Ironi Kiryat Shmona. They went on to win the double after defeating Hapoel Be’er Sheva 6-2 in the State Cup and also won the Toto Cup Ligat Al, beating Maccabi Haifa 2-1.

Founded in 1906 as the HaRishon Le Zion-Yafo Association, Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest, largest and most decorated football club in Israel. With the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv in 1909, the club changed their name to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

They have won more titles than any other Israeli club, winning 20 League Championships, 22 State Cups, two Asian Champion Club Tournament (now AFC Champions League) and three Toto Cups.

Maccabi Tel Aviv are the only Israeli football team that have never been relegated and one of three Israeli teams ever to make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Their first participation in a European competition was in season 1992/93 when they were paired with Valletta, defeating them 1-0 at home and 2-1 at Ta’ Qali for a 3-1 aggregate score. Maccabi Tel-Aviv managed to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2004/05 and the group stage of the UEFA Europa League in 2011/12 and 2013/14.

In other clashes between clubs from Malta and Israel, Beitar Jerusalem had eliminated Floriana from the UEFA Cup with an 8-1 aggregate score in 1996 while in 2009, Maccabi Netanya eliminated Sliema with a 3-0 aggregate score in the UEFA Europa League despite a goalless draw at the Centenary Stadium.

2015/16 UEFA Champions League

First qualifying round draw
Lincoln FC (GIB) v FC Santa Coloma (AND)
Crusaders FC (NIR) v FC Levadia Tallinn (EST)
FC Pyunik (ARM) v SS Folgore (SMR)
B36 Tórshavn (FRO) v The New Saints FC (WAL)

• Ties will be played on 30 June/1 July and 7/8 July.

Second qualifying round draw
Hibernians FC (MLT) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
APOEL FC (CYP) v FK Vardar (MKD)
Qarabağ FK (AZE) v FK Rudar Pljevlja (MNE)
FK Sarajevo (BIH) v KKS Lech Poznań (POL)
NK Maribor (SVN) v FC Astana (KAZ)
FC BATE Borisov (BLR) v Dundalk FC (IRL)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) v FK Ventspils (LVA)
FC Midtjylland (DEN) v Lincoln FC (GIB)/FC Santa Coloma (AND)
Molde FK (NOR) v FC Pyunik (ARM)/SS Folgore (SMR)
Malmö FF (SWE) v FK Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU)
Celtic FC (SCO) v Stjarnan (ISL)
FK AS Trenčín (SVK) v FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)
FK Partizan (SRB) v FC Dila Gori (GEO)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) v FC Milsami Orhei (MDA)
CS Fola Esch (LUX) v GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
KF Skënderbeu (ALB) v Crusaders FC (NIR)/FC Levadia Tallinn (EST)
B36 Tórshavn (FRO)/ The New Saints FC (WAL) v Videoton FC (HUN)

• Ties will be played on 14/15 and 21/22 July.