Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

Sport

Footballers protest UEFA decision to award Israel U21 finals

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-03

Several high-profile footballers have protested UEFA’s decision to award Israel the 2013 under-21 European championships following the country’s recent conflict with the Palestinians, claiming the move condones its attacks on Gaza.

Dozens of professional footballers, including Didier Drogba, have written to UEFA in protest at a decision to award Israel the under-21 European championships next year in the wake of fresh conflict with Palestinians.

In a letter to the European game's ruling body, which organises the tournament, the players said that allowing the Jewish nation to host the competition would condone its recent offensive against Gaza-based militants.

The players, among them a number of top players from the English, French, Italian and Spanish top flight, said they expressed solidarity with Gazans who were "living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom".

"The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the death of over a hundred civilians, was yet another stain on the world's conscience," they added in the letter, which was widely published on the Internet.

The players also highlighted the Israeli bombardment of a football stadium in Gaza on November 10 that killed four teenagers and the plight of a number of Palestinian footballers detained by Israel since February this year.

"It is unacceptable that children are killed while they play football. Israel hosting the UEFA Under-21 European Championship, in these circumstances, will be seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values," the letter said.

"Despite the recent ceasefire, Palestinians are still forced to endure a desperate existence under occupation, they must be protected by the international community.

"All people have the right to a life of dignity, freedom and security. We hope that a just settlement will finally emerge."

The eight-day confrontation ended with a November 21 ceasefire deal. Some 175 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and six Israelis, two of them soldiers, were killed in the conflict, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Signatories of the letter included five members of English side Newcastle United, among them Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye, Eden Hazard of Chelsea and the former Stamford Bridge star Drogba, who now plays in China.

The draw for the eight-team competition, which runs from June 5-18, was made this week in Tel Aviv.

A number of international pro-Palestinian groups and the Palestine Football Association itself have previously written to UEFA president Michel Platini, urging him to move the competition elsewhere.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-12-02

  • ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel announces new settlements after UN Palestine vote

    Read more

  • ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Egypt opens talks to strengthen Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • ISRAEL- PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Gaza begins rebuilding as ceasefire holds

    Read more

COMMENT(S)