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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are you blind, ref?

Is there any sphere of life free from fashionable Israel-bashing? Now the opportunity to stick the boot into Israel has prompted the football bureaucrats of FIFA to turn human rights activists. Mick Hartley points out some of the things that haven't moved them to speak out in the past:-

When Saddam Hussein's son Uday had Iraqi soccer players tortured in 1997 after they failed to qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France, FIFA remained silent. Uday, who was chairman of the Iraqi soccer association, had star players tortured again in 1998. And in 2000, following a quarterfinal defeat in the Asia Cup, three Iraqi players were whipped and beaten for three days by Uday's bodyguards. The torture took place at the Iraqi Olympic Committee headquarters, but FIFA said nothing.

Again, FIFA simply looked the other way while the Taliban used U.N.-funded soccer fields to slaughter and flog hundreds of innocent people who had supposedly violated sharia law in front of crowds of thousands chanting "God is great." (Afghan soccer coach Habib Ullahniazi said that as many as 30 people were executed in the middle of the field during the intermissions of a single soccer match at Kabul's Ghazi Stadium.

Compared with which the bombarding of an empty football pitch which has been used for training by terrorist organizations is really, really bad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wrote to FIFA today about this. Will let you know if I get a reply. Also contacted "Kick It Out" - the FA's anti racism arm, to ask about their position on the three Israeli players left behind whilst their West Ham and Bolton Wanderers teammates went off on a training session to Dubai. The UAE has a policy of not permitting Israeli citizens to enter.

I've had a "we can't interfere with the internal politics of UAE" response so far. But will update you if/when I hear from them regarding my response, viz, will KIO take up with Bolton and West Ham their choice of a training venue to which some of their players were barred because they were Israeli Jews.