The following letter was sent to all members of UEFA’s Executive Committee wh0 will decide on venues for the thirteen EURO 2020 tournaments on 19 September 2014. Copies were also sent to all other UEFA member associations. The letter refers to an attached Information Sheet that gives specific reasons for exclusion of West Jerusalem and this is reproduced in the “Campaigns/EURO 2020” tab on this website.
Letter to UEFA Executive Committee
GAZA and EURO 2020
When UN Secretary General condemns Israeli attacks on Gaza as “a moral outrage and a criminal act” the world has to take notice. Including the football world.
These criminal acts include killing footballers. Institutions like UEFA and FIFA need to act to protect players and to protect the reputation of the game.
UEFA admitted the Israeli FA to UEFA in 1994, doubtless reflecting the optimism shown in the Oslo accords. As you know, that optimism has evaporated. So the justification for welcoming a non-European member, Israel, into UEFA no longer exists.
Even less justified would be holding a EURO 2020 tournament in West Jerusalem, where the whole world does not recognise Israeli sovereignty and where Palestinians fear to tread (see attached Information Sheet).
We therefore call on the UEFA Executive Committee to exclude Jerusalem from consideration as a host city for EURO 2020.
The Israeli FA is a state institution – which inevitably adds a political dimension that Sepp Blatter has recognised more generally. However, above all there is a moral imperative. A country that legalizes racial discrimination, breaches the Geneva Conventions, ignores UN sanctions and internationally accepted humanitarian standards does not, as it claims, share the values of European democracies. But it does use its cultural and sporting links to legitimise itself.
UEFA must stand against this. Football must take the moral high ground against Israeli actions.