In rejection of the holding of the Champions Trophy football tournament in Tel Aviv this summer, activists from the Collectif Boycott Apartheid Israel – Paris Banlieue, Samidoun Région Parisienne and others demonstrated outside the offices of the Professional Football League (LFP) in Paris.
The LFP, which operates under the French Football Federation, has taken on the responsibility of organizing the final match of the Champions Trophy between PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) and FC Nantes on 31 July, 2022, in an Israeli stadium. This is the second consecutive year that the Champions Trophy will be held in Tel Aviv.
This sporting investment in Israeli occupation benefits the occupier at the same time that it is accelerating its policies of terror, colonization, racism and apartheid against the Palestinian people. The Zionist state views Palestinians as a “demographic threat” and systematically aims to dehumanize the Palestinian people. It is responsible for forced displacement, mass incarceration without charge or trial, legal, spatial and economic segregation, land confiscation, as well as acts of torture, assassination and killing against the Palestinian people.
If Israel intends to cover up this reality by exploiting high-level sport, the LFP will not be allowed to ignore it. As the LFP’s board of directors gathered, activists “awarded” the LFP with the “trophy for the best accomplice of apartheid,” symbolized by a cup dripping with red paint.
The activists requested a meeting with Mr. Vincent Labrune, the president of the LFP, but were denied. Nevertheless, the head of human resources at the LFP came to meet them, and they delivered the petition denouncing the holding of the Champions Trophy in Tel Aviv signed by more than 80 organizations. The “bloody” cup was placed on the reception desk of the LFP.
Demonstrators also unfurled a banner in front of the LFP headquarters and chanted various slogans denouncing the LFP’s complicity with Zionism, apartheid and colonialism. They called for a boycott of Israel in support of the Palestinian people and urged the two competing clubs, PSG and FC Nantes, to withdraw from the field of Israeli sportswashing.
A change of location would allow the LFP to align itself with the social responsibility it purports to advance. If the LFP claims to reject hatred, racism and discrimination in the stadium, consistency would dictate that it, therefore, must not host tournaments in the stadiums of a state committing apartheid, a crime based in racial discrimination and a recognized crime against humanity.
Sports associations, human rights organizations and other supporting groups can sign the petition to the LFP at this address: