[News] FIFA urged to give the red card to Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 13 17:45:01 EDT 2009

FIFA urged to give the red card to Israel

Press release, various undersigned, 13 October 2009

The following press release was issued on 7 October 2009:

FIFA's declared mission to use football to bring about "a better 
world" requires that clear signals be given to the apartheid state, 
Israel. The undersigned organizations call on FIFA to tell Israel it 
is off-side and to show it a red card for the World Cup.

Three Palestinian football players from the national team were killed 
during the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip earlier this 
year. Because of the Israeli blockade and travel restrictions, the 
Palestinian national team there cannot practice with their teammates 
in the West Bank in their native land. They can only rarely take part 
in international competitions.

Palestinian athletes suffer constant discrimination and violent 
assaults. This is part of Israel's decades-long refusal to guarantee 
the Palestinians their rights, freedom, dignity and their physical 
and spiritual integrity. This policy should be called apartheid. It 
is not only a violation of international law, but also of FIFA's 
regulations against discrimination, and of the Olympic Charter.

South Africa's exclusion from the world sports community until 1991 
helped to bring about the end of racial separation in that country. 
Now, almost 20 years later, the World Cup will be hosted by South 
Africa in 2010. Decency, dignity and sporting fair play towards the 
hosts and the participating teams demand that Israel be subjected to 
the same sanctions. Numerous organizations and personalities in 
Israel and world-wide hope that increased pressure on Israel will 
induce it to respect the rights of the Palestinians. This is a 
prerequisite for peace.

We challenge FIFA to live up to the letter and the spirit of its 
statutes and to seize this opportunity to prove to the world that it 
stands for a more just world by sending Israel an unmistakeable 
threat of exclusion. This would be an important victory for human 
rights -- not only for the Palestinian people, but also for the 
international football community.

No to apartheid!

Undersigned organizations: Basler Frauenvereinigung fuer Frieden und 
Fortschritt (BFFF), Bewegung fuer den Sozialismus (BFS/MPS), 
Collectif Judeo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Paix de Strasbourg, 
Collectif Urgence Palestine Vaud, Collectif Urgence Palestine 
Neuchatel, Frauen fuer den Frieden Region Basel, Frauen fuer den 
Frieden Region Biel, Gerechtigkeit und Frieden in Palaestina (GFP) 
Bern, Gesellschaft Schweiz-Palaestina (GSP/ASP), International Jewish 
Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) France, Juedische Stimme fuer gerechten 
Frieden in Nahost (EJJP Deutschland), Kampagne Olivenoel, Neue PdA 
Basel, Mahnwache Bern, Palaestina-Solidaritaet Basel, 
Palaestina-Solidaritaet Zuerich, Sozialistische Alternative (SoAL) 
Basel, Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix (UJFP)

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