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‘Provocative political symbol’ — UEFA fines clubs when fans fly Palestinian flags

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A body of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has slapped harsh fines on three of its member clubs, Celtic FC , St Johnstone (Saints) and Dundalk FC because some fans flew Palestinian flags during their games.

Celtic fans wave Palistinian flags during the game against KR Reykjavik at Murrayfield in July (photo:Scotland Now)

Celtic fans wave Palistinian flags during the game against KR Reykjavik at Murrayfield in July (photo:Scotland Now)

Last month the Irish club Dundalk FC was socked with an €18,000 fine ($23,639) because  fans flew Palestine’s flag at their home stadium in July. And Scotland Now reported this week that both Celtic FC and St Johnstone ‘Saints’  have been fined. The Saints have confirmed they were fined £18k ($29,616).

UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee has deemed Palestine’s national flag to be “a political symbol” and flying it at their games to be an infringement of the association’s regulations (pdf), because  “the conflict with Israeli forces in the region is still ongoing.

Scotland Now:

UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee took action after delegates flagged up the flag-flying in their reports from Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik and the Perth men’s home leg against Europa League rivals Spartak Trnava.

UEFA deem the Palestine flag a political symbol because the conflict with Israeli forces in the region is still ongoing.

A UEFA spokesman said: “Celtic and St Johnstone were sanctioned for infringement of Article 16 (2) (e).”

The UEFA Disciplinary Regulations on Order and Security states: “All associations and clubs are liable for the following inappropriate behaviour on the part of their supporters and may be subject to disciplinary measures and directives.

“The use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious or provocative nature will not be tolerated.”

BBC reports the Saints and the Celtics have asked UEFA for a copy of the judgement and an explanation in writing and both teams will assess their next move “after receiving the written judgement”. The Saints spokesperson:

 “We’ve written to Uefa for the second time, having received no reply to our previous request last week for a written copy of the reasons for the judgement. Once we have that we will decide on our next course of action.”

This represents a staggering amount of money for these teams; the prize for winning the Irish league is €100,000. This begs the question what kind of pressure came to bear on UEFA to impose these draconian penalties, fines that could potentially break smaller clubs. Were they acting on their own initiative, or were they heavily lobbied to take these measures? 

I wrote UEFA Media yesterday inquiring what other national flags, if any, are now or have ever been deemed  “a political symbol” by UEFA reminding them there is another party involved in this ongoing conflict they referenced regarding Palestine’s flag. I asked if this means Palestine’s flag is permanently banned from UEFA member club games until such time as the conflict is resolved. And if their penalties will also apply to Israel’s flag. They have not yet responded.

The Palestinian flag is one of the most famous flags in the world. People from a wide range of countries proudly fly the national flag of Palestine because it has come to represent a quest for freedom, justice and human dignity. And it’s understandable how some people really don’t like that.

Remember when Palestinian-American Buthayna Hammad flew her Palestinian flag at the Houston Dynamo last spring? Initially she was told her flag implied a “racial slur”, and once that allegation was rescinded by the stadium’s PR hack the official explanation was morphed into “the sole intention of maintaining the safety of those in attendance. The flag bearer was instigating the crowd.” And in the battle of flags, I’d like to know if this flag, regularly rolled out by Ajax Amsterdam fans, was instigating the crowd? Was that a provocative religious or political symbol? 

Ajax FC fans

Ajax FC fans (photo:


Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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65 Responses

  1. ritzl on September 4, 2014, 11:09 am


    I hope the Palestine National Team gets invited to a lengthy world tour. No one could fine the flag displays then.

    And yeah, that Israel flag. Fines should be meted out on the basis of square footage.

    Great reporting Annie. I hope you get and share any answers from UEFA.

    • annie on September 4, 2014, 12:48 pm

      i will if i hear from them, it’s not fair. it’s not fair people should be prevented from flying a flag at a soccer team. it’s not fair the palestinian flag should be singled out. not fair at all.

      • tod77 on September 4, 2014, 1:44 pm

        No way this will stand.
        Palestine is recognized as a state in the UN.
        They have a national football team that plays in tournaments.
        Not enough to cancel the fine. Someone in UEFA should be sacked for ignorance and stupidity (or worse).

      • tod77 on September 4, 2014, 2:10 pm

        According to:

        St. Johnston said the fine is for raising the flag and chanting.

        The chanting changes the picture slightly so I retract what I wrote above.
        If they were chanting political messages, that would be against the regulations and would make sense.

        I wouldn’t want to go to a sports game and see two sets of audiences chanting “death to Israel” and “death to arabs” at each other (or “down with Obama” for that matter). I would expect this to be discouraged.

      • annie on September 4, 2014, 4:35 pm

        tod, i think it is fair to assume if they were shouting ‘death to israel’ it would have been reported as such. wrt your hypotheticals, can we not make this more inflammatory than it already is? i do not think i have ever attending a sports game without chanting. whatever. don’t they have freedom of speech in scotland and can the UEFA over ride their constitution?

        but either way, is this happening across the board or is palestine singled out. this is not the same as biting someone ear off. this is about flying national flags at games. and we’ve been bombing the middle east for years, so that’s an ongoing conflict. is the club fined if an american flag is waved? that’s the point. how many national flags are outlawed by the league, aside from palestine’s? any?

      • justicewillprevail on September 4, 2014, 7:04 pm

        At the St Johnstone game the (very short) chanting was pro-Palestinian, i.e. Free Free Palestine. Hardly offensive. Fans note that the fine dished out is far larger than those UEFA dish out for racism, a far worse scourge in the game than flying a national flag. UEFA, like FIFA, are utter hypocrites and run by men who identify with money and chauvinism. I don’t see how this would stand for a second in court, unless UEFA were consistent in banning national flags. But the clubs are unlikely to have the appetite or funds for a court battle, which is a pity.

        For a history of Celtic’s relationship with Irish republicanism and the support of Palestine see here, with a very nice photo of a large Palestine flag:

      • Rooster on September 4, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Wait… So what is the message here?

        I can fly the Palestinian (or Israeli) flag without chanting.
        Or I can flaglessly chant.

        But I can’t do both?

        Reading the article, there are three sentences stating fine was for display of flag. One sentence stating fine was for chant (in conjunction with display of flag).

        It is telling that the FC clubs themselves find the question of for what EXACTLY they are being fined unclear enough as to seek it IN WRITING. And it is equally telling that the league office, in waffling worthy of the University of Illinois, is having trouble providing that letter.

      • tod77 on September 4, 2014, 7:56 pm

        Completely agree with what you wrote about the flag Annie.
        Regarding the chanting, all I’m saying is that I don’t think it is a matter of freedom of speech, because it is legitimate to disallow political protest in football fields.

        I couldn’t find anywhere that mentioned what they were chanting, but I did find this:

        Again – as a football supporter, attending premier league games every now and then, I don’t think political chanting should be allowed. Whether its against Israel, Palestine, protestants, or tories.

        Are Palestine supporters being singled out? – probably…

        I did have a quick search for “fine”, “chanting” and came up with this :

        so to be fair to UEFA, not only pro palestine supporters are being signalled out, but I suppose pro- IRA chanting is also an easy target…
        It’s pretty obvious that pro Israel supporters would not be fined, because international law doesn’t apply if you’re zionist.

        Again, to make sure what I’m saying is clear – I think the chanting is something that might warrant a fine.
        Fining the club, because of people proudly raising the Palestine flag, is something that is outrageous beyond words.
        What you said about the Palestine flag being considered
        A “political symbol” is utter lunacy and will never stand in court.

      • annie on September 5, 2014, 12:34 am

        i see what you mean todd. and that knife attack, yuk! i had intercepted that first link and clearly chanting for the death of people and loud racist chants, risk moving this into a ‘fire in a movie theatre’ type situation. with that many people it risks lives when it goes that far.

    • bilal a on September 5, 2014, 7:07 am

      Is the Palestinian flag the equivalent of the Quennelle , or vice versa, in the hive mind of the establishment

      French Jewish leader: Quenelle not always anti-Semitic
      Soccer star Nicolas Anelka, facing ban for celebrating goal with controversial salute, tweets Roger Cukierman’s newly nuanced

      Read more: French Jewish leader: Quenelle not always anti-Semitic | The Times of Israel

  2. just on September 4, 2014, 11:14 am

    Hypocrisy– AGAIN.

    It’s everywhere. Zionism has infected everything it touches.

    • just on September 4, 2014, 11:16 am

      Well, the only good news is that fans are flying the flag of the Palestinian People and State!!!!!!!

    • seafoid on September 4, 2014, 3:41 pm

      It is also paranoia. They can’t accept people outside Israel considering the Palestinians as humans with rights.

      • Citizen on September 4, 2014, 6:15 pm

        @ seafoid
        This is an acute insight. See the very recent article here on Tzipi L’s attack on the sign.

  3. amigo on September 4, 2014, 11:15 am

    I trust clubs whose fans flying Israeli flags will feel the hand of equality from UEFA.

    This whole charade is beyond insanity.

    What next??.

    Will they issue fines if fans shout for their team in Arabic or eat Hummus during the game.

  4. amigo on September 4, 2014, 11:16 am

    Annie , thanks for bringing this and thanks for everything.

    • annie on September 4, 2014, 12:46 pm

      amigo, thank you amigo. ;)

      thanks to our movement all over the whole world!

  5. ritzl on September 4, 2014, 11:16 am

    This, the Livni incident, the Richard Cohen article, the Salaita firing… the gaping chasm of what Zionists and Israelis think and are allowed to do, and what normal moral people are allowed to think and do is growing bigger. The difference in magnitude between that Israeli flag and the hand-waved Palestinian flags illustrates that visually and viscerally.

  6. HarryLaw on September 4, 2014, 11:49 am

    Unbeflippinbelievable, How can this rule be upheld, if England [Union Jack or St George’s Cross] played Scotland [the Saltire] at this time with the independence vote coming up, all these flags “could” be making a political statement. The key to this is if that Dutch club or any club are fined for waving the Israeli flag, somehow I don’t think they will be.

  7. Kay24 on September 4, 2014, 11:51 am

    Right now that Israeli flag is distasteful, disliked, and stands for death and destruction around the world. In the US it is regarded almost like a holy object for zio worshippers.

    I hope more and more institutions, sports clubs, and others around the world will have the courage to display the Palestinian flag – it is a symbol of suffering and a brutal occupation, that Israel desperately tries to hide. To show sympathy for the Palestinians seems to make them apoplectic and sore.

  8. Sycamores on September 4, 2014, 12:28 pm

    UEFA (which is apart of the continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA) says that the Palestine flag is “a political symbol” is an infringement of the association’s regulations. but Palestine was admitted into FIFA in 1998 so the flag is a recognized member’s flag, i don’t get how it’s an infringement? is it an infringement during a conflict only?

    worth noting there are two charges against Dundalk FC

    “These charges relate to Article 16 (2) of the Disciplinary Rules (relating to flags that have been deemed by UEFA to be inappropriate) and Article 45 UEFA Stadium Infrastructure (relating to the prohibition of standing supporters).

    UEFA will have to explain how a member flag of FIFA is inappropriate. “a political symbol” won’t cut it all countries flags can be consider “a political symbol”.

    the appeal process from Dundalk FC to the charges from UEFA will be interesting.

    • ritzl on September 4, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Bingo, Sycamores. ALL countries’ flags are political symbols.

      I get the feeling that the Zionists see this, see red, and rush to get a quick judgement before anyone is looking. Sad for them, more people are always looking, and being supportive of Palestine. Maybe just as important, this pattern of rabid, obvious, rushed selectivity in support of Israel is becoming recognized as the MO by the institutions that are being used to punish Palestine, wherever and whenever.

      Serving that MO comes at a price. The University of Illinois – CU is a case in point.

      • Sycamores on September 4, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Serving that MO comes at a price. The University of Illinois – CU is a case in point.

        i really hope this blows up in UEFA face, Dundalk FC have loads of examples of countries flags in FIFA that could be deem ‘Provocative political symbols’. Obviously the Israeli Flag but what about the American flag could that be seen as provocative to Afghanistan or Ukraine flag to Russia etc ?

        when i get some time to research i will look up the charge related to Article 16 (2) of the Disciplinary Rules (relating to flags that have been deemed by UEFA to be inappropriate)

    • seafoid on September 4, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Dundalk should say that the flag is a protest against UEFA’s refusal to allow Palestine play in its competitions while Israel has the right to do so.

      • Sycamores on September 4, 2014, 6:32 pm

        there is 6 confederations in FIFA

        UEFA and AFC are two of the six

        Israel is a member of UEFA – Union of European Football Associations

        Palestine is a member of AFC – Asian Football Confederation

        why is Israel with UEFA and not with AFC where it should be?

        i can only hope this will open up a whole bag of worms for UEFA.

  9. amigo on September 4, 2014, 12:43 pm

    “Celtic F.C. supporters have traditionally been associated with support for Irish republicanism, and the flying of Irish flags at matches is common.[51] Some groups of Celtic supporters also sing or chant Irish folk and rebel songs” wiki

    There were fines levied on Celtic FC, but it would appear those were not for flying the Irish Flag .

    Hallo UEFA.

  10. Edward Q on September 4, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Does someone get to fine the UEFA for discriminating against Palestinians?

  11. Diane Mason on September 4, 2014, 1:23 pm

    This will be a can of worms UEFA will regret opening. It just won’t be possible to justify banning the Palestinian flag in (Irish, Catholic) communities that identify with the Palestinians while ignoring fans of clubs with historically-Jewish ties (Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax) waving the Israeli flag. And if it’s forbidden to fly the Palestinian flag because it’s too political, why hasn’t UEFA cared all these years about Barca fans with their Catalonia flags or Atletico fans with their Basque flags? I’m pretty sure the Spanish F.A. finds that “inappropriate”. This isn’t going to stand up in court.

    All of this reminds me of Israel’s futile attempts to ban the Palestinian flag in the Occupied Territories before the first intifada. When the flag was banned, people started dressing in clothes that just happened to be black, red, white and green. And then when that was cracked down on, anonymous graffiti started showing up on the walls showing big salad bowls that just happened to be full of green lettuce, white radishes, red tomatoes and black olives….

    Banning the flag doesn’t make anything go away.

    • annie on September 4, 2014, 4:45 pm

      And then when that was cracked down on, anonymous graffiti started showing up on the walls showing big salad bowls that just happened to be full of green lettuce, white radishes, red tomatoes and black olives…. fantastic! i never heard of this!

    • kalithea on September 5, 2014, 10:44 am

      Start to finish…excellent!

  12. Talkback on September 4, 2014, 2:21 pm
    • ritzl on September 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Kinda makes the fines on the Irish and Scottish teams look a tad selective. Is Bayern Munich going to get fined too?

      Thanks Talkback.

    • amigo on September 4, 2014, 3:48 pm

      “Official Habib” could of course have turned the TV off, but that didn’t seem to occur to him.” from your link.

      Talkback, typical zionist hypocracy..When they wave their flags we are supposed to turn the tv off.

      When supporters of Palestine do the same, they are supposed to get rid of them so the zionuts can watch and enjoy the game.Exclusivity at it,s finest.

  13. seafoid on September 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

    UEFA are a joke claiming the flag is political. Allowing Israel to play UEFA competitions is highly political. It is the only country from the Levant allowed to do so.

    Israel has lost the common people of Europe and resorting to fines to get them to STFU is pathetic.

    • ritzl on September 4, 2014, 3:01 pm


    • annie on September 4, 2014, 4:50 pm

      Israel has lost the common people of Europe and resorting to fines to get them to STFU is pathetic.

      that’s what i think. i don’t think it’s likely the UEFA came up with this idea on their own. i think there was likely some intervention (which is why i liked to salaita in the article – same difference). i think they don’t want stadiums all over the world flying palestinian flags. so rather than fixing the problem, the people get fined! we’re supposed to shut our mouths about it!

  14. seafoid on September 4, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Btw soccer is shot through with hypocrisy. FIFA awarded the 2022 world cup to qatar , pop 300k, size of connecticut, no soccer tradition, no infrastructure, summer temperatures in excess of 100f.
    Anything for money. Same as J street.

  15. amigo on September 4, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I posted this on the ISIS /Hamas thread but not much traffic there so here it is again.

    “A really tiny piece of land”

    “During the later appearance by the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, the committee chairman, Fine Gael’s Pat Breen, asked him about what he described as the “confiscation” of almost 1,000 acres of West Bank land.

    Senator David Norris noted that Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid had “condemned the expropriation of land”, adding that the cabinet minister had said it “harmed the state of Israel”. “Why was it so urgent to create another crisis by acting so blatantly illegally?” Mr Norris asked.

    However, Mr Modai defended the move which he said involved a “really tiny” piece of land in Gush Etzion. He said the land had had a Jewish presence for “thousands of years” before the war of independence, and the area was of “emotional importance for all ” Irish Times-Pamela Duncan reporting from the Irish Senate.

    I wonder if the Israeli ambassador would consider 1000 acres of land stolen from him to be a really tiny piece of land .That ,I bet would be of huge emotional importance to him.

    Palestinians are unemotional beings it appears.Except for hating Jews , eh.

    • seafoid on September 4, 2014, 3:45 pm

      Modai is a crap ambassador. He is way out of his depth.

      All he can do is regurgitate hasbara.

      Total boazo

      Sir, – Hamas began its present rocket offensive against Israel on June 12th, the first day of the search for three murdered Israeli teenagers. This massive and indiscriminate bombardment had reached the level of approximately 1,200 rockets by last Sunday.
      Israel did not ask for this war. However, no country could allow its citizens to be attacked in this way without responding. Hamas is guilty of a double war crime. First, by deliberately attacking Israel’s civilians, it violates the principle of distinction embodied in the 1979 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Article 48 requires that parties to a conflict “shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants . . . and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” Article 51 requires that “the civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack”. Second, Hamas deliberately puts the Palestinian civilian population in danger by launching attacks from within densely populated areas, deploying weapons storage sites and command centres in residential homes and commandeering hospitals, private homes, schools and mosques for terrorist use.
      It is clear that this violates Article 58: “The parties shall, to the maximum extent feasible endeavour to remove the civilian population … under their control from the vicinity of military objectives, and avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.”
      Even worse, Hamas directly and cynically promotes the use of its civilians as human shields, ordering them to ignore the warnings given by the Israel Defence Forces to leave buildings targeted for air strikes, and even calling on them to gather on the rooftops of such buildings.
      Such a tactic contravenes Article 51(7): “The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”
      The difference between Israel and Hamas boils down to this: we are using bomb shelters and the Iron Dome system to protect the residents of Israel against Hamas missiles, while they use the residents of Gaza to protect arsenals of missiles. We invest huge sums of money in protecting our civilians and in maximising our accuracy in fighting Hamas, while they spend huge sums building an infrastructure of terror and trying to kill as many civilians as possible on both sides.
      Israel is a democracy that is fighting unbridled terrorism in a legitimate, responsible and level-headed manner. No country in the world would do any less than we have been doing to protect our citizens. – Yours, etc,
      Ambassador of Israel,
      Pembroke Road,
      Dublin 4.

      • amigo on September 4, 2014, 4:30 pm

        Modai is a crap ambassador. He is way out of his depth. – seafoid

        I used to read his zionist offerings to the letters section of the IT, just to see if he might veer off the script .I gave up on that.

        I refer to him as “Boa Modai”.

        Apologies to all snakes.

      • Talkback on September 6, 2014, 8:06 am

        ROFL. An Israeli ambassador talks about violation of the Geneva Conventions which Israel violates since they exist, but doesn’t even recognize them to be applicable in the territory it occupies.

        Just the usual revolting Zionist hasbara.

  16. seafoid on September 4, 2014, 5:09 pm

    His IT letters are a guide to the development of hasbara but bot ambassador to Ireland is a job for losers. The country is lost to hasbara.

    • just on September 4, 2014, 5:25 pm

      Take it away the honorable and passionate Trevor Hogan in this ‘tribute’ to Modai:

      “We need to call out and expose the lies of the Israeli embassy, the Israeli propaganda and the Zionist narrative that seems to be accepted at face value. We need to expose that, it’s a policy that kills first and lies about afterwards, they kill and then they lie.

      And the chief liar, the chief warmonger in Ireland is the Israeli ambassador to my right, in there, that’s where he resides.

      [crowd shouts: BOOOO Out! Out! Out! Out! Out!]

      As you said we want him out, we want him out of our country. We do not want to tolerate war criminals; apologizers for war crimes; justifiers of practical genocide. He’s out of our country. But the problem is, since our government won’t do it, since they won’t enact it we’re gonna do it.

      [crowd cheers]

      We’re gonna put a siege, we’re gonna put a siege around this embassy, every week we’re gonna keep comin’ back until we get him out of this country! Out! Out!

      [crowd cheers: Out! Out! Out! Out! Out! Out! Out!]

      As long as there’s a siege in Gaza, there’s gonna be a siege on this embassy and we’re not gonna lift it until the people of Gaza are free.

      Mr Flanagan, you said last week only under exceptional circumstances could an ambassador be expelled. Well is this not exceptional enough for ya?

      Six decades of ethnic cleansing, constant war crimes of bombing of children and families and civilians is that not exceptional enough?!

      Is Apartheid, is that not exceptional enough?!

      Isn’t racism and vile lies spewed out of this embassy every week, is that not exceptional enough?!

      Get him out, out of this country!”

  17. eGuard on September 4, 2014, 6:13 pm

    And this, quite recent: (‘Ioden’ is the local word)

    • just on September 5, 2014, 12:46 am

      oh my.

    • eGuard on September 5, 2014, 4:23 pm

      Ajax need not to worry. Their former chairman Michael van Praag is both president of the Dutch F.A. and is in the UEFA Executive Committee.

      • Dutch on September 5, 2014, 7:58 pm

        I don’t think Van Praag has anything to say in this.

        There is hardly any link between Ajax and Jews (and none with Israel), except for a core of supporters that adopted this romance with Jewish symbols almost fifty years ago, when Ajax had a few famous Jewish players (Sjaak Swart, Benny Muller et al). For insiders, this was the team that Johan Cruyff made his debute in when he was 16.

        Anyway, we will go ahead here, demanding that all Israeli flags be banned from the Ajax stadium, or we will file a complaint with UEFA.

      • eGuard on September 6, 2014, 5:38 am

        re Dutch: the point is that Ajax is not being punished, while Celtic, Dundee and St Johnstone are. (btw, the Israeli flag is not just a “Jewish” symbol).

    • Marnie on September 6, 2014, 2:10 am


      • Dutch on September 8, 2014, 9:13 pm

        @ eGuard

        Yes, I understood. That’s why we’re taking action.

        As for your BTW – my explanation was about the meaning it has for the supporters, not what the flag stands for.

        Thanks for the info on the upcoming vote for the host cities for Euro 2020. Imagine – Jerusalem, city of ethnic cleansing, welcomes the European soccer elite.

  18. refugee47 on September 4, 2014, 8:10 pm

    Are FC Barcelona getting fined too ? Their fans fly the Catalan flag every single match . Their club kits are based on the Catalan flag . Are Athletic club Bilbao getting fined for flying the basque flag ? A couple seasons ago in a FC Barcelona vs Bilbao match the captains of both clubs brought Catalan and Basque flags on the pitch after the match . Not a word from UEFA .

    • kalithea on September 5, 2014, 10:55 am

      When Zionists squeal, men in suits cower and lose all reason, and impartiality and truth are out the window. That kind of power isn’t standard.

  19. seafoid on September 5, 2014, 3:12 am

    UEFA has form mixing sport and politics. In 1992 they kicked Yugoslavia out of the Euro Football Championships. Nothing to do with soccer.

  20. Justpassingby on September 5, 2014, 3:35 am

    Thats just scary! At the same time I read that Joan Rivers is dead now so things could have been worse..

  21. michelle on September 5, 2014, 10:56 am

    people are interesting
    the more ‘they’ are told they can’t do something
    (esp. something well within their rights to do)
    the more ‘they’ tend to do that very thing
    more often than not like the wave everyone’s doing it
    once again Israel is helping to spread the news by trying to mute it
    and to such a ground floor venue way to go Israel rah rah rah
    G-d Bless

  22. kalithea on September 5, 2014, 11:26 am

    But the message UEFA is sending is really this one: It’s not so bad to imprison and then cripple Palestinian soccer players to terminally end their soccer career aspirations as it is to fly at soccer matches the legitimate flag of Palestine recognized as such in most international circles even propped up behind Obama when Abbas visits the WH and that many globally view as a symbol of the struggle for dignity, freedom and justice by the Palestinian people.

    I’d say unfair is an understatement. This is clear submission to political coercion and/or bribery, in other words, enabling illegal or criminal activity through staggering discrimination and bias.

  23. justicewillprevail on September 5, 2014, 12:50 pm

    What is really pernicious about this is the Israeli sponsored drive to criminalise Palestine and its people. They operate as such inside Israel, but their racist endeavour is to spread it everywhere. Minor pipsqueak officials are bullied and harassed to enforce this agenda, with a compliant media dutifully following along. The goal is to make Palestine and its supporters reduced to the margins, tainted with associations of ‘terror’ and anti-semitism, so that a de facto ban is upheld, with any mention of Palestine ghettoised by the mind police. The aim is, as ever, to silence any platform for justice or support for Palestinians. Israel knows that it would lose overnight in any fair argument or debate in front of largely uniformed people, therefore they must never get to hear the arguments or consider support for Palestine legitimate. Criminalise it all, and it becomes taboo – this is what they are tasking people like UEFA to do, and it is utterly shameful that the petty officials there crumble to such nakedly political pressure, having no idea of what principles are and how public bodies should uphold them. If Palestinian flags and chants of Free Palestine are political it is only because Israel has made them so. Football is about celebrating your identity, there is no reason Palestinians should not be denied the pleasure afforded to every other national and regional group. Only israel could be so full of spite, hate and malice to deny this to people who have a real identity, and not a manufactured one like modern day israelis.

    • justicewillprevail on September 5, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Ha, that would be uninformed, not uniformed. Freudian or what?

      • Mooser on September 5, 2014, 4:52 pm

        ” uninformed, not uniformed.”

        I’ve made some real whoppers since we lost “edit”. Hopefully it’ll come back soon.

    • ritzl on September 5, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Really great comment, justicewillprevail. I think you’re right. This type of stuff is more than about suppressing Palestinian identity, it’s about criminalizing it.

  24. eGuard on September 5, 2014, 8:17 pm

    The qualifier Israel – Belgium, for the UEFA European Cup (2016), was scheduled for September 9, 2014. It is postponed for ‘safety’ reasons, to March next year.

    Of course, their main and real safety concern was a stadium full of Israeli supporters waving yellow flags and shouting ‘death to the Arabs’. On the tele.

    • ritzl on September 6, 2014, 7:01 am

      eGuard, did you see in that article that Israel is playing muslim Bosnia in Haifa in November?

      I doubt if the Israeli fans/racist mob will be able to help themselves.

      As you say, it’ll make for some interesting TV.

      • ritzl on September 6, 2014, 7:10 am

        The fact that Bosnia is ranked #19 in the world and Israel is #67 means Bosnia will likely win.

        Ho boy.

    • eGuard on September 8, 2014, 4:15 pm

      There is another urgent issue for Israel in this, electronic intifada points out

      UEFA’s Euro 2020 for country teams will be hosting games in multiple cities across Europe. Not in a single country any more, like France in 2016. One of the candidate cities is Jerusalem (the Asia ones). Now, UEFA will choose from the candidates next September 19. (A note to commenter Dutch: Michael Van Praag is voting member of that Committee).

      Of course, Israel could not use any video of racist hooligans before September 19, so to be “secure” with this, the home meeting with Belgium was postponed. Once Jerusalem is selected in two weeks, anything ‘death to the Arab’ goes.

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