Gaza football teams denounce the Champions Trophy in Tel Aviv

On 31 July, the next Champions Trophy competition between leading football teams Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and FC Nantes will take place in Tel Aviv for the second consecutive year. As a statement co-signed by many groups — including the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and Samidoun Region Parisienne — affirms, “This is a sportwashing event, aiming to whitewash the military occupation, the colonisation, the apartheid system of the Israeli State and its crimes.”

In a statement, the Gaza Democratic Sports Forum “condemns and deplores the decision of the French Football Association to organize the final of the Champions Cup on Palestinian land occupied by the Zionist entity… The Democratic Sports Forum calls on all sports federations to fight this decision and to send a message to Arab and international clubs to take a stand against the holding of this event on Palestinian land… France, which claims to brandish the slogans of freedom and human rights, must not engage in such behaviour which only encourages the occupation in its increasing brutality and oppression against our people.”

During a football match between the Nuseirat Club and Al-Jalaa Club on 19 July in the Gaza Strip, both teams held banners against the Champions Trophy in Tel Aviv. They emphasized that Palestinian lives and futures in sports are being constantly hampered and suppressed by the occupation supported by the French Football Federation. Palestinian football players in Gaza cannot travel to matches, while local clubs struggle to survive due to the economic situation caused by the illegal blockade that has persisted for over 15 years. In addition, many Palestinian athletes are injured or killed in Israeli occupation attacks, while other promising athletes are imprisoned and detained, like professional footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, imprisoned and then released in 2012 following a lengthy hunger strike.

More than ever, we strongly condemn the holding of the Champions Trophy in Tel Aviv and pledge to develop the boycott of Israel in all areas against colonialism, racism and apartheid. 

Source: Collectif Palestine Vaincra