Newsdesk - Palestine Wants UEFA to Strip Israel of U21s; TV Deal for Premier League
June 14, 2012
(WFI) Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub wants Israel stripped of hosting rights to the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship.
Last year's match between Ramallah and Jerusalem at Faisal Husseini stadium in the West Bank town of al-Ram was the first international to be hosted on Palestinian home soil (Getty)
"We are deeply concerned about the situation of our footballers," he wrote in a letter to UEFA president Michel Platini quoted by AFP.
"We ask your excellency not to give Israel the honor of hosting the next UEFA U21 Championship.”
Rajoub cited concerns over the detention without trial of three Palestinian footballers – national team midfielder Mahmud Sarsak, Olympic goalkeeper Omar Abu Rois and Ramallah player Mohammed Nimr.
According to the report, Sarsak was imprisoned in July 2009 and has been on a hunger strike since March. Rois and Nimr were both arrested in February, joining more than 300 Palestinians now under administrative detention orders in Israel.
"For athletes in Palestine, there is no real freedom of movement and the risks of being detained or even killed are always looming before their eyes," Rajoub wrote.
Israel beat out bids from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England and Wales back in January 2011 for the 2013 tournament, scheduled for June 15 to 28.
Former Syrian FA Chief Killed in Attack
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and VP Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein are among the leaders of world football expressing condolences over the death of Syria’s former FA leader.
Marawan Arafat, SFA president from March 1994 to January 1996 and again from October 2003 to February 2004, was killed Tuesday in an attack that also left his wife critically injured with multiple gunshot wounds.
“He was an active football player, FIFA referee, manager, academic lecturer and one of the most prominent figures in Syrian football,” Blatter wrote Thursday in a letter to current SFA president Salah Edeen Ramadan.
“I knew him personally and cannot speak highly enough of his tireless efforts promote football in his region. He will be sorely missed. “
Prince Ali paid his own tribute. "We are very saddened by the shocking news, the football community in the
region has lost one of its pioneers," he said on Thursday.
"Whether as a player, lecturer, referee, or manager, Marwan Arafat was a dedicated leader who has immensely contributed to Syrian football.”
Premier League Announces New TV Rights Deal
BT and BSkyB will share live broadcast rights to England’s Premier League beginning with the 2013-2014 season.
The three-year deal announced Wednesday totals almost $4.7 billion and gives EPL newcomer BT access to 38 matches a season for an annual fee of $382 million.
BSkyB, who shares rights with ESPN under their current deal, will fork over $1.18 billion a season to show 116 matches.
“As ever, the security provided by broadcast revenues will enable our clubs to continue to invest in all aspects of their football activities and plan sustainably for the foreseeable future,” Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said in a statement.
“This deal allows them to keep delivering what fans want; top quality football in some of world’s best club stadia and an increasing focus on and commitment to areas such as Youth Development.”
The deal represents a $1.94 billion increase over the current deal between BSkyB and ESPN.
By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson
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