NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Jun 18th, 2012.
Wrexham plays host to the Welsh womans football team’s European Championship qualifying match against Israel on Wednesday night at the Racecourse – kick off 6pm.
Tickets are free and can be ordered from this page on Glyndwr Uni’s site.
The ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’ is organising a protest picket of the game outside the stadium, saying “Palestinian teams have consistently been refused visas to travel to competitions, and restrictions on movement both within the West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza further compound the difficulties that Palestinian footballers face. In 2006 the football stadium in Gaza was bombed by the Israeli Army.”
The group is also drawning 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.
Sarsak was arrested by Israeli forces while travelling from his home in Gaza to play a match with his team on 22 July 2009 in the West Bank.
Amnesty International’s Middle East director Philip Luter said “After almost three years in detention, the Israeli authorities have had ample opportunity to charge al-Sarsak with a recognizable criminal offence and bring him to trial. They have failed to do so, and instead repeatedly affirmed his detention order on the basis of secret information withheld from him and his lawyer.”
Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa and former Manchester Utd player Eric Cantona have called on Israeli authorities to release Sarsak.
The Zionist Central Council of Manchester are also urging their supporters to head to the Racecourse “with Israeli flags to show your support for the Israeli womens football team”, but also encouraging their supporters to “send the Palestine Solidarity Campaign a message that Israel is not an Apartheid country, but rather a country that has brought major advancements in technology and healthcare to the rest of the world. ”
Wales won their last game away to Ireland 1-0, but need to start picking up the points to revive hopes of qualification.