RCIR Campaign letter to home nations and Repbublic of Ireland: Support for Palestinian Football

RCIR Campaign letter to home nations and Repbublic of Ireland: Support for Palestinian Football

The letter calls for support from the FAs of all four home nations and the Republic of Ireland in our two main campaigns : Euro 2020 and IFA suspension from FIFA.

Dear Sir,

Support for Palestinian football.

In our April visit to Palestine we witnessed the impressive spirit and resilience of Palestinian footballers.  They suffer appallingly from the Israeli military occupation, with players’ movements blocked and facilities underdeveloped or unused. Worst of all, players have been shot and sometimes killed – see the enclosed fact sheet.

Despite the best efforts of Sepp Blatter’s “Israel-Palestine Task Force”, which will report back to the FIFA annual Congress on 10 June, discussions to date do not augur well.  Palestinian FA president, Jibril Rajoub, has demanded the removal of the Israeli FA from FIFA and he needs strong international support.

The IFA is regulated by Israel’s State Comptroller and is funded by the State. It is directly complicit in its government’s actions.  Sanctions against the IFA are the best – possibly the only – means of improving the situation. As the Haaretz sports editor said in mid April “only threats and pressure will force the Israeli government to take action”.

Our campaign’s petition[1] calls for suspension of the IFA from FIFA until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law. We ask that you support the PFA and our petition at the FIFA Congress.

The IFA has submitted a bid to UEFA for Jerusalem to host one of the tournaments. As our fact sheet indicates, Jerusalem bears witness to the very worst aspects of Israeli racism.  I also attach a copy of an open letter to FIFA signed by prominent people active on human rights

UEFA’s Executive Committee will meeting to decide on host countries on 19 September.  We ask that you oppose the selection of Jerusalem as a host city and persuade others to do the same.

Direct help to Palestinians has been given through FIFA’s Goal project in spite of Israeli constraints.  Some European nations have also helped improve facilities.  Visits by coaches and teams are becoming more frequent. We ask that you encourage such direct help initiatives in England.

We would greatly welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you, together with the enormous potential that exists to provide direct help to Palestinian football.

Attachments:  (1) Fact Sheet: Palestine, Israel and the Beautiful Game (see post elsewhere )  (2) Open Letter to UEFA (see post 30 April 2014)

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