UEFA must take action: Stop the double standard, kick out apartheid
Take one minute to write to UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin concerning the double standard taken by UEFA in regard to Russia and Israel.
On Friday, July 15th the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld those decisions by UEFA and FIFA which exclude Russian national teams and clubs.
It is clear that when the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) wants to take action to exclude a country and its players, it can act swiftly to do so. Hours after the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the UEFA almost immediately acted to exclude Russian teams, followed quickly by FIFA (International Federation of Association Football). These measures mirrored the official actions of various European Union governments. In regard to Russia, the UEFA initiated action within hours following Russian forces moving into the Ukraine, and FIFA quickly followed.
At the same time, for many years, the IFA has been in serious breach of FIFA’s own statutes as they relate to human rights, anti-discrimination, and equality for the promotion of football in a globally accessible and unifying manner. This shows that UEFA and FIFA have a double standard: when they want to act due to their own political considerations, and when they do not want to act.
FIFA has failed repeatedly for many years to address the Palestinian Football Association’s (PFA) documented complaints.
What took hours and days in the case of Russia, lingers after decades without action in regard to justice for Palestinian football.
We look to the UEFA to act swiftly to put an end to these ongoing violations against Palestinian football and to kick out apartheid football. We will not accept double standards. UEFA and FIFA must end their complicity with apartheid, especially given IFA is one of UEFA’s members.
The State of Israel’s brutal occupation makes the realization of the stated objectives of the UEFA and FIFA impossible, as Israel continues to systematically practice ethnic cleansing and segregation against more than five million Palestinians suffering under its military occupation.
On September 9, 2016, members of European Parliament called on FIFA to hold IFA accountable.
Why the double standards? Why the hypocrisy? Why the lack of accountability in regard to Israel?
Sports Washing Underway Leading up to the World Cup
Beyond the regular games, teams in France, Italy, the UK, Spain and other member associations of the UEFA continue to accept sports washing invitations by Israel.
· the Tournament of Champions where Paris Saint-Germain, champion of France 2022, and FC Nantes, winner of the Coupe de France 2022, is scheduled for Sunday July 31, at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv
· Juventus - Atletico Madrid on 7th August at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel
These are certainly not “friendly” matches. Instead, these matches show the outright hypocrisy of the UEFA and its member associations in regard to the flagrant disregard for FIFA’s own statues and the UEFA’s disregard for the very same rules that it claims to have hastily applied against Russia.
Football clubs within Palestine and around the world, supporter/fan clubs in Europe and elsewhere, and civil society and human rights groups around the world have spoken out against theseis flagrant double standards and ignoring of sports-washing of human rights violations, international law and racism.
Indication that any issues related to the FIFA and UEFA stance that the Israeli Football Association's (IFA) behaviour is political, if ever valid, was negated when FIFA and the UEFA on February 28, 2022 suspended Russia from international competition. This double standard reeks of hypocrisy.
FIFA has to date not responded. We hope for more from the UEFA, the confederation in which the IFA plays.
We call on the UEFA to invoke the responsibilities and provisions within the UEFA Statutes to hold the Israeli Football Association (IFA) accountable by implementing sanctions against the IFA, and that you insist that FIFA follow your lead.
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