Action Alert: Britain Denies U19 Palestinians into the UK
Many organisations spent weeks and months planning to host the Palestinian Under 19 football team in a 3 week visit to the UK in September. This visit is no longer going to take place as the British Consulate in Jerusalem has refused to grant visas to the entire team and coaches.
The British Government, in a decision apparently taken at a senior level, have refused entry visas to the entire team. Although they will not provide reasons in writing, they say the decision was taken because the economic situation in Gaza, where the majority of the team are based, is so bad that they do not believe that the Palestinians will return home again. They deny taking the decision for any politically motivated reason, although they did say at one point that it was because the Israelis would not allow them to return - and so would create a refugee issue, but they have since denied this.
The team posed no threat and the tour was intended to provide support to a team of boys and young men who would have no other opportunity to play in real football stadiums. Britain is now directly aiding Israel in punishing the Palestinians by denying them freedom of movement on no legitimate grounds.
The imprisonment of the Palestinian team in this way is a stark contrast to the welcome Israels national team is expected to receive in its qualifier against England on September 8th at Wembley. This unequal treatment of Israeli and Palestinian football teams must be challenged.
FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH
- Write to the FCO:
- Demand to know the reason for the U19 teams visa refusals.
- Request that the decision made be reversed.
Tel: 020 7008 1500
Write letters to FIFA (firstname.lastname@example.org), the FA (email@example.com) and UEFA (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) and to Kick Racism out of Football (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Write to FIFA, UEFA, and the FA asking them to suspend Israel from international football until it abides by International law.
PROTEST RALLY SEPTEMBER 8TH WEMBLY STADIUM 3pm kick-off
We encourage everyone to attend the protest rally outside the England/Israel match on September 8th, in a show of unity with the Palestinians.
While Europe allows Israel to enter its sporting tournaments and turns a blind eye to its human rights abuses, we are in effect giving Israel impunity for its war crimes.