IFA disregarding rights of Palestinians -McCartney

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said the IFA have disregarded the rights of Palestinians by continuing with tonight’s fixture against the Israeli soccer team.

Speaking ahead of a rally tonight at Free Derry Wall  Raymond McCartney  said:

“Tonight the IFA will welcome the Israeli soccer team to Belfast having ignored calls to respect the rights of Palestinians by cancelling the fixture.

“Since the outset, we have lobbied the IFA to cancel this match in the same way that the Argentinian national team pulled out of a pre-World Cup game with Israel.

“Whilst the Israeli national team are free to travel and flourish worldwide, the Palestinian national team are blocked from doing so due to disgraceful restrictions placed on citizens in the West Bank and the Israeli created open air prison of Gaza.

“Sports teams, musicians and actors have drawn international attention in recent months through support for the Boycott, Divestment & Sanction campaign against Israel. The IFA should heed these calls.

“Israel is an apartheid state which is involved in the slaughter of Palestinian civilians and flagrant human rights abuse whilst also violating international law. This has no place in sport.