RCIR challenges UEFA – don’t hold football tournaments in Israel: no Euro 2020, no U-19 in 2015

RCIR challenges UEFA – don’t hold football tournaments in Israel:  no Euro 2020, no U-19 in 2015

The Red Card Israeli Racism campaign has today written to President Michel Platini copied to all UEFA member nations as follows:

Dear Mr Platini,

We urge you at your Annual Congress on 27th March and at the preceding Executive Committee meeting to vote not to hold any further tournaments in Israel.

Israel is perpetrating a cruel and oppressive military occupation of the PalestinianTerritories which has gone on for 47 years and is illegal under international law. Israel is in breach of 77 UN resolutions.

Israel’s extreme racism against Palestinians, including shocking examples in football, is widely acknowledged. In recent weeks Israeli soldiers shot multiple times at the legs of Palestinian footballers Johar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, then beat them and set dogs on them causing devastating injuries and ending their careers.

By holding tournaments in Israel, UEFA condones and supports Israel’s abhorrent and unacceptable behaviour towards Palestinians.  During the apartheid era in South   Africa, the country’s Football Association was excluded from FIFA – from 1964 to 1992. Israel is also an apartheid state according to the UN definition of the term and therefore must be excluded too.

In addition, Israel is not geographically part of Europe. It is situated in the Middle East and should be promoting inclusive sport in that region.

We feel that sport has a moral imperative to combat blatant inhumane injustice. Last year many eminent people, including Frederick Kanoute, Eric Cantona, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Stephane Hessell and Israeli Nurit Peled, who feel the same way, challenged hosting the UEFA Men’s Under 21 finals tournament in Israel.

Many more people are now joining the call to exclude Israel from being selected as one of the host countries for the EURO 2020 competition. We note that a term in Sector 4 of the “Technical Requirements” should logically lead to the exclusion of Israel and we call for this term to be given proper weight in the decision making process.

In line with our letter to you of 13 December 2013 we also renew our call for the UEFA Women’s Under 19 finals tournament to be moved from Israel.

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