Monday, June 18, 2012

FIFA Urges Zionist Israel to Release Palestinian National Player Mahmoud Sarsak

The Palestinian Football Association, PFA asked the European football association, UEFA, to cancel the decision to appoint Israel to host next year's European U-21 soccer championship tournament.

The request was based on the actions of the Israeli government which had arrested three Palestinian football players without any prosecution.

The PFA president, Jibril Rajoub is reported to have written a letter to UEFA to show concern about the arrest of the three Palestinian football players.
One of the detained players, Mahmoud al-Sarsak reportedly involved in a hunger strike.

Last week, human rights groups warned that the former Palestinian star player was in a dying condition after taking a hunger strike for 80 days.

In a letter addressed to UEFA President Michel Platini, Rajoub said the Israeli government had committed a direct violation of the rules set by FIFA.
"For Palestinian athletes there is no freedom to move and the risk of being detained and even killed always overshadows them," Rajoub said in a letter quoted BBC.

In addition to the Sarsak, the other two Palestinian players arrested were the Palestinian Olympic National Team Goalkeeper, Omar Abu Rois and Ramallah player, Mohammed Nimr.
They were all arrested because without a trial process.
FIFA on Tuesday (12/06/2012) expressed its concern about the condition of Mahmoud al-Sarsak and they have asked the Israeli Football Association to take steps to address this condition.


Palestinian footballer Mahmoud al-Sarsak, 25, left the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2009 to compete in football in the West Bank. But he never fulfilled this plan.

He was arrested by Zionist 'Israelis' and after three years of detention without going through the legal process, Sarsak launched a hunger strike. His term will end on August 22 but there is no guarantee that the prison will not extend his detention period for six months, as happened before.
"The whole family and friends are worried about Mahmoud's condition and this anxiety has killed us," said Sarsak's brother Emad as quoted from the page Maan News

Sarsak joined the local football team in the Rafah refugee camp, South of the Gaza Strip since he was 14 years old. He was the youngest footballer to play in the Palestinian A League at that time. The midfielder attracted the attention of the German coach when he played for the Palestinian national team in Norway.

"He always dreamed he could play abroad representing Palestine by playing for Arab or international teams. And he was very talented," added Emad.

The first step to realize this dream is to play for a team in the West Bank. But on July 22, 2009, the Zionist invaders caught him without a clear reason on the Erez border.

Sarsak began a hunger strike on March 19 and until now he still survives his action. Because of his deteriorating body condition, he is now in a prison clinic.

Hidayatullah/The Truth Seeker Media

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