Tag Archives: UEFA

Irish Times publishes UEFA Under-21 protest letter

The Irish Times has published a protest letter challenging UEFA’s decision to let Israel host the Under 21 finals in 2013 Irish Times.

The letter (appearing under the headline “Israel to host tournament”), mirrors one published in the UK Guardian a month ago, with the addition of prominent Irish names including that of  1976 Nobel Peace Prizewinner  Mairead Maguire.

This marks another step in the Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign after a recent pitch invasion by French protesters and a “Love Football, Hate Apartheid” action in Ireland.

Photo: Agence-France Presse

European football’s governing body has yet to reply to an appeal from Palestinian football clubs in June not to reward Israel for its persistent infringements of Palestinian rights.

Advertisements

Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign scores in France and Ireland

Pitch invasions by French protesters and a “Love Football, Hate Apartheid” action in Ireland last week expressed growing outrage at  UEFA’s decision to let Israel host the Under 21 football final in 2013.

Photo: Agence-France Presse

European football’s governing body has yet to reply to an appeal from Palestinian football clubs in June not to reward Israel for its persistent infringements of Palestinian rights. This is despite a deluge of protest messages to UEFA president Michel Platini and a direct challenge from prominent Europeans published in a UK national newspaper.

French protesters invaded the pitch five times when Israel’s national women’s team played at Troyes on October 26. Irish campaigners used leaflets and banners to get their message across at another women’s European Cup qualifier at Tallaght stadium on October 22.

Photo: Irish PSC

Martin O’Quigley of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “Some say that sport and politics should not mix, however we say that sport and racism should never mix.”

He drew a comparison with the sporting boycott against South Africa, which was one of the most effective tools employed in ostracising that state and revealing to the world its Apartheid regime and disregard for human rights.

O’Quigley said that while Israeli teams can travel and play freely,  Israeli authorities regularly refuse visas to Palestinian female and male footballers alike.

According to Stephane Mahon, an organiser for the French campaigning group EuroPalestine, five girls and boys wearing green boycott Israel T-shirts or carrying Palestinian flags ran onto the pitch during the second half of the France-Israel match at Troyes. The last young woman suffered a cracked rib while being roughly handled by ground staff.

This is not shown on the video because the camera operator and other activists were ejected from the ground while the protest was going on.

Go to the BDS website for information on how to support the Red Card campaign.

RED CARD UEFA CAMPAIGN ENTERS NEW PHASE

The Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign is launching a new phase of its activities aimed at persuading UEFA, football’s European governing body, not to grant Israel the privilege of hosting the Under-21 competition in 2013.
Following publication in the Guardian newspaper of the letter below, signed by several prominent Europeans, we are now working with activists across the continent to have the letter more widely published and to build pressure on the football authorities to respond to the Palestinian appeal.
So far not one word of acknowledgement has been received from UEFA for the letter they received back in June from representative Gazan sporting organisations.
Please tweet, Facebook, post and blog in order to pile the pressure on UEFA chief Michel Platini to get this decision reversed.
Israel’s stance in the community of nations
Those who lead European football must respond to an appeal from Palestinians dismayed at the prospect of Israel hosting Uefa’s under-21 tournament in 2013. A state that uses military might to hold sway over land it illegally occupies and exploits, flouts international law and ignores UN resolutions surely forfeits the right to be treated as a member of the community of nations. But western powers continue to embrace Israel as an ally.  
During the 2011 under-21 tournament in Denmark in June, 42 Gazan football clubs, backed by many sporting bodies, wrote to Uefa president Michel Platini calling on his organisation not “to reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights”.
We ask Uefa to respond positively to this plea.
Stephane Hessel diplomat
Ken Loach filmmaker 
Michael Mansfield barrister
Miriam Margolyes actor
Nurit Peled Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought joint winner 2001
John Pilger journalist and filmmaker,
Ahdaf Soueif novelist and political and cultural commentator
Jean Ziegler vice-president, advisory committee of the UN human rights council
© 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited