RCIR calls on UK and Ireland Football Associations to oppose Jerusalem as host for EURO 2020

RCIR calls on UK and Ireland Football Associations to oppose Jerusalem as host for EURO 2020

The following letter was sent to the English FA and similar letters were sent to the  Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Republic of Ireland’s FAs.

Support for Palestinian football 

In our 6 May 2014 letter to you (attached) we asked for your support in opposing the selection of Jerusalem as a host city for the EURO 2020 competition.  This letter is to re-emphasise this request and the reasons for it, and reiterate our desire for a meeting to discuss our campaign’s broader aims.

In line with a UN resolution that Jerusalem be an international city, the international community has long rejected the Israeli claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem, where the EURO 2020 games would be played,.  By holding the games there rather than another suitable city UEFA would be unwittingly taking an important political step in support of Israel’s claim.

Furthermore, a UEFA tournament held in Jerusalem would publicly endorse Israeli’s annexation of East Jerusalem into a Israeli-united greater Jerusalem. As you know, this annexation is illegal under international law.  Games in Jerusalem would be a powerful snub not only to the international community but to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.

In addition, the long established and extreme racism of the La Familia gang at the Teddy Stadium, where the games would be played, would make it dangerous for Palestinians from East Jerusalem and Israel to attend. Effectively they would be excluded. Non-white players and fans from European countries would also be likely to suffer abuse.  We believe that such exclusion and abuse would be of great concern to UEFA.

Mr Platini told our French colleagues that UEFA does not mix sport and politics.  We believe UEFA cannot afford to be blind to politics in sport, given Israel’s use of it. Even Mr Blatter recognised that “football has a political dimension”. Should UEFA not be sensitive to this and exclude Jerusalem from hosting EURO 2020 games?

The attached Fact Sheet details how Jerusalem bears witness to the very worst aspects of Israeli racism.  I also attach a copy of an open letter from leading public figures appealing for Jerusalem to be excluded from the list of hosts for EURO 2020.

Attachments (not included on this post):

(1) RCIR letter of 6 May, without attachments,

(2) Fact Sheet: Palestine, Israel and the Beautiful Game,

(3) Open Letter to UEFA

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