Hamrun Spartans were drawn with Maccabi Haifa of Israel in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League first qualifying round draw was held on Tuesday at the House of European football in Nyon, Switzerland.
Matches will be played on 11/12 July and 18/19 July. The first leg is due to be played in Malta.
Thirty teams were involved in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League – 29 automatic entrants and the winner of the preliminary round.
The winners of each tie advance to the second qualifying round (Champions Path). Defeated sides switch to the Champions Path of the Europa Conference League, with 13 transferring to the second qualifying round and two receiving a bye to the third qualifying round.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club are based in the city of Haifa, Israel. Maccabi Haifa home games are played at Sammy Ofer Stadium. The stadium is the second largest in Israeli football, with a capacity of 30,858.
Maccabi Haifa is one of the “Big Four” clubs in Israeli, winning fifteen championships, six State Cups, five Toto Cups and four Super Cups. They were the first Israeli club to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2002/03. Maccabi Haifa holds the record, for the most Champions League group stage qualifications for an Israeli team in three occasions.
They reached the group stage of the UEFA Cup in 2006/07, UEFA Champions League in 2009/10, UEFA Europa League in 2011/12 and 2013/14, UEFA Europa Conference League in 2021/22 and UEFA Champions League last season.
Maccabi Haifa’s best run in Europe was in 1998/99 when they reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup while in 2006/07, they made it to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Cup.
Maccabi Haifa won the championship last season, finishing seven points ahead of Hapoel Be’er Sheva and eight ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
First qualifying round draw (seeded teams in bold)
Häcken (SWE) vs The New Saints (WAL)
Ballkani (KOS) vs Ludogorets (BUL)
Shamrock Rovers (IRL) vs Winners of preliminary round
Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU) vs Struga (MKD)
KÍ Klaksvík (FRO) vs Ferencváros (HUN)
Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN) vs Valmiera (LVA)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) vs Larne (NIR)
Lincoln Red Imps (GIB) vs Qarabağ (AZE) *
Raków Czestochowa (POL) vs Flora Tallinn (EST) *
Slovan Bratislava (SVK) vs Swift Hesper (LUX)
Farul Constanța (ROU) vs Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)
Hamrun Spartans (MLT) vs Maccabi Haifa (ISR)
Urartu (ARM) vs Zrinjski (BIH)
Partizani (ALB) vs BATE Borisov (BLR)
Astana (KAZ) vs Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
* defeated sides go to UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round (Champions Path). All other defeated teams enter the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League (Champions Path)