Objective: Replacement of Israel as host of the UEFA Women’s Under 19 finals tournament in mid 2015, and if played in Israel to ensure that no games were played at the ground of Beitar Jerusalem.
UEFA’s Executive Committee meeting in March 2012 voted to hold this tournament in Israel, although the decision making process was not made clear. The first rounds were played in September 2014 using a mini-tournament format.
Holding this tournament in Israel condones the racism of Israeli society and the inability of the IFA to control racism football. When we tried to get the 2013 UEFA Men’s Under-21 finals competition moved from Israel UEFA President Michel Platini retorted that this was politics and that they don’t mix politics and sport. Yet many international footballers led by Frederic Kanoute highlighted the inconsistency between this attitude and UEFA’s professed fight against racism on the football field and terraces. And many others, including the late Stephane Hessell and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, directly called for that tournament to be moved. The same arguments hold for this junior tournament.
UEFA refused to change the venue, but RCIR pressure to ensure that no games would be played at the ground of racist club Beitar Jerusalem was successful.
RCIR also contacted players to encourage them to recognise the racism in Israeli society against Palestinians and to visit West Bank cities such as Hebron and Bethlehem.
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