Boycott lobby: Move EUFA U21 champs from Israel

2012-06-20 00:00

THE Palestinian sporting community’s call on the governing body of European football to relocate the 2013 U21 Championships out of Israel has received local support, with a petition to the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in South Africa and the Palestine Solidarity Alliance have launched a petition to have the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) reverse their decision to host the 2013 U21 Championships in

Israel. Campaign organiser Muhammed Desai said they were hoping to formally approach Mbalula’s office once they had 10 000 signatories.

Desai said the petition attracted 500 signatures within two days. He said that although South Africa was not officially part of Uefa, the campaign carried great weight coming out of South Africa — a country that experienced similar boycotts during the 1980s.

“Since Minister Mbalula has been to Palestine on several occasions and even partook, in 2006 with the ANC Youth League, in a protest rally outside the Israeli embassy where Israeli flags were burnt and trampled on, we believe that he will support this endeavour,” he said.

Mbalula’s media liaison officer, Paena Galane, said he was aware of the petition, but no formal documentation had been yet forwarded. — WR.

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