Palestine urges UEFA to bar Israel from holding soccer tournament

  • The Palestine Football Association (PFA) has urged the sport’s European governing body UEFA to ban Israel from hosting a tournament next year over Palestinian players in detention.

    Israel is to host the European Under-21 championship in 2013.

    PFA President Jibril Rajoub wrote to UEFA to express his alarm about three Palestinian players who are being held in Israel without charge.

    One of them, midfielder Mahmoud al-Sarsak, has been held for three years under Israel's "Unlawful Combatants Law", which allows the detention of Palestinians from Gaza for an unlimited time without charge or trial.

    Sarsak is on hunger strike and human rights groups have warned he is close to death having gone without food for more than 80 days.

    Olympic squad goalkeeper Omar Abu Rois and Ramallah player Mohammed Nimr are also being held in Israel.