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ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ The World Cup qualifier between Israel and Austria was postponed Thursday by soccer's governing body, citing the crash of a charter flight from Tel Aviv.

FIFA president Joseph Blatter said the ``tragic event'' forced the federation's emergency committee to put off Sunday's scheduled match in Tel Aviv.

No makeup date was announced immediately.

The game will determine which team advances to a playoff against Turkey for a spot in the World Cup. Austria (4-1-2) is in second place in Group 7, and Israel (3-2-2) is third. First-place Spain already clinched a berth in next year's tournament.

On Monday, FIFA denied Austria's request to move the match because of security fears. The next day, nine Austrian players said they wouldn't go to the game.

``It was and is my opinion that it is simply too dangerous in Israel,'' player Cristian Mayreleb told Austrian news agency APA. ``FIFA came to the same conclusion, but late.''

A Russian chartered airliner heading from Israel to Siberia exploded Thursday and crashed off the Black Sea coast with at least 76 people on board.

U.S. officials said a missile fired during a military training exercise in Ukraine appeared to have accidentally brought down the plane. Ukraine denied that theory, with a Defense Ministry spokesman saying all the missiles fired in the exercise hit their proper targets and that there was no evidence a civilian plane entered the training area.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said terrorism could be the cause of the crash.