Credit to UEFA

Next week, the Israeli team will kick off the Uefa Under-21 tournament against Norway in Netanya. Much as we would love to see the Israelis win, this is one of those instances when the result really is the least important thing. Of much greater significance is the simple fact that the tournament is taking place in Israel. The BDS movement makes a lot of noise.

And it does have victories. Some people do boycott Israel, either because they agree with the idea or are simply too weak to stand up to the antisemitic mob that single out Jews for ostracism. But the BDS crowd have failed utterly to persuade Uefa to adopt their agenda.

All credit to Uefa - and to Michel Platini, who has had to withstand vicious abuse for his determination not to give in to the racists. And credit to football itself. There is much wrong with the sport both globally and here in the UK. But the 13 days of football in Israel will be a potent symbol of how sport can bring people together, when others seek to divide.

Last updated: 10:04am, May 30 2013