The Palestine U-19 team that was supposed to tour England playing teams like Chester City and Blackburn Rovers have been refused visas on the eve of their visit. The official explanation is that the British foreign office was concerned that the players would seek asylum because of the horrible economic conditions prevailing in Gaza.
The unofficial explanation is that there is no guarantee that they would be let back into Gaza thanks to Israel’s policy of controlling the entry and exit to and from the Gaza strip, thus creating a refugee status.
More examples of how Israel continues to humiliate the Palestinians. In 2005, the Israelis prevented the Palestinians competing on the world stage by detaining players in Gaza during a world cup qualifier. They also prevented the entire team leaving Gaza for an Asian Cup qualifier against Singapore in 2006 and barred the team from re-entering Gaza for over a month after they competed in Jordan in June of this year.
We can do something about this. Go to www.windowintopalestine.blogspot.com and find out how you can help.
Write to the British consulate in Jerusalem at email@example.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org (Attn: Kamal Kalloub).
Write letters to FIFA (email@example.com), the FA (firstname.lastname@example.org) and UEFA (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) protesting the favourable treatment of the Israeli national team who are to meet England at Wembley on Sept 8th.