Words by Liam Randall. Pictures by Jack Scott
Several anti Israel protesters have been ejected and many refused entry at tonight’s women’s football game between Wales and Israel at the Racecourse Ground.
As we reported earlier this week the Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised a protest picket of the game outside the stadium and a police escort greeted the Israeli women’s team in anticipation of the action.
A crowd of protesters formed on Mold Road a couple of hours before kick off in opposition against Palestinian football teams being refused visas to travel to competitions and restrictions on movement both within the West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza.
They also drew attention to the plight of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, who is around 100 days into a hunger strike at protest at his imprisonment without charge or trial.
An activist inside the ground told us that there was tight security and that few protesters were allowed inside the ground and any who made it in were soon thrown out with some trying to start a pitch invasion.
Médb MacDaibhéid tweeted: “Security here is very tight will get evicted as soon as I start chanting so waiting for the right moment.
“Some activists already ejected and most not allowed to enter in the first place. Crowd very hostile to the Palestine supporters.
She added: “Half time now everyone has been kicked out except 4 of us. At the beginning activists tried to get on the pitch – security increased.
Médb was later taken out of the ground for carrying a Palestinian flag which she claimed was described as “forbidden”.
We asked ground owners Glyndwr University whether stewards and security staff had been instructed to remove anyone carrying the Palestinian flag and they issued the following statement:
“Glyndŵr University is committed to ensuring that all events at the stadium take place in a safe and secure environment. The university was aware of the planned protests and worked in close cooperation with the police to minimise disruption to supporters and staff attending the game.
“Stewards took the decision to remove a number of spectators in line with UEFA rules governing the hosting of international fixtures.”
The game, which was a qualifier for Women’s Euro 2013, ended 5-0 to Wales.