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London protest planned against Israel hosting Uefa Under-21s

    England Under-21 international Wilfried Zaha will play in Israel next month
    England Under-21 international Wilfried Zaha will play in Israel next month

    Anti-Israel protesters are planning a demonstration in central London on Friday in the latest bid to prevent Israel from hosting the European Under-21 football championship next month.

    Red Card Israeli Racism has called for boycott supporters to protest outside the Grosvenor House Hotel, where European football’s governing body, Uefa, is holding its annual conference.

    They want Uefa to strip Israel of the tournament, which kicks off on June 5. The campaign is supported by figures such as film director Ken Loach, MP Jeremy Corbyn and comedian Alexei Sayle.

    The protesters are also demanding that Uefa president Michel Platini meets Mahmoud Sarsak, a Palestinian footballer who was released in 2012 after three years in an Israeli prison.

    Uefa has consistently rejected calls to relocate the tournament.

    In a show of support for Uefa, StandWithUs UK, the Zionist Federation and the Fair Play Campaign Group are asking England fans to write to Under-21 players to wish them luck, and express the hope “that they enjoy their experience of Israel, without reference to anything political or the attempted boycotts of this tournament”.

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