No ball games here
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Palestinian Football Federation (PFF) want UEFA not to hold the Under 21 European Football Championship in Israel next summer. Two years ago, the UEFA President Michel Platini said: “Israel must respect laws and international regulations otherwise there is no justification for them remaining in Europe...Israel must choose between allowing Palestinian sport to prosper or face consequences.”
Palestinian footballers have suffered at the hands of the Israeli authorities. In 2009 the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) air strikes in the Gaza strip killed three members of the national football team - Ayman Alkurd, Wajeh Moshtahe and Shadi Sbakhe. Until recently, teammate Mahmoud Sarsak was also detained without trial for three years. Omar Abu Rois and Mohammed Nimr continue to be held. On November 19, 2012 the Palestinian National Stadium was bombed by the IDF as part of Operation Pillar of Cloud.
As a result of these actions the PSC believe: “Palestinians are effectively barred from international football by the extreme restrictions placed on them by the Israeli occupation.”
The PSC, to which Unite is affiliated, is urging Landworker readers to join film maker Ken Loach in signing a petition to Platini, urging him to move the tournament, in which England will feature, to another country.