Letter: New host nation for the 2013 UEFA U21 finals

Mr David Bernstein, President,

The Football Association

Wembley Stadium,

PO Box 1967

London SW1P 9 EQ

18 January 2012

Dear Mr Bernstein,

New host nation for the 2013 UEFA U21 finals

There is widespread disquiet over the decision to host of the 2013 UEFA U21 finals in Israel and I am asking you to seriously question this decision.  Israel does not merit the honour of hosting the U21 finals for the following reasons.

  • Israel is the only country in the UEFA family of nations whose government has laws that discriminate against minorities – affecting primarily Palestinians.
  • The Israeli government is in violation of international law and its military has been widely condemned for inhuman acts.
  • Israeli government policies conform to the UN definition of Apartheid.

Open letters have been written to Mr Platini requesting that UEFA change the host nation for the U21 finals.  Support for this has come from all over the world. In the UK the campaign has been named “Red card Israeli Apartheid”.

In June 2011 forty two Palestinian Sports clubs and others echoed the request to change the venue.  Then in October 2011 eight internationally distinguished members of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine made the same request and in November 2011 eminent Irish persons added their signatures.  Up to December 2011 over 1800 people used an e-tool campaign to send the same request to Mr Platini. Demonstrations have taken place in Denmark and at football matches in France and Ireland. Other demonstrations are expected to follow across Europe.

UEFA is faced with serious ethical and moral problems by the choice of an Israeli venue for the finals. One way to resolve these is to change the host nation to Wales or England.  Both countries were shortlisted for the 2013 finals and appear to be ready and able to host the tournament. It would also be possible to include Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to widen interest and involvement.  Israel could be promised consideration as a host in future when the government has ceased its violations of international law.

Therefore on behalf of the Red Card campaign I would like to request that you propose to Mr Platini that your football association take on the role of host nation for the 2013 U21 finals, either singly or in conjunction with other neighbouring nations.

Members the Red Card campaign group are willing to meet with UEFA’s Executive Committee members, either singly or at a full meeting, to discuss this further.

Yours sincerely,

 

Betty Hunter

Honorary President.

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