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Football | Africa

Papiss Cisse © Backpagepics

Africans support Palestine



Didier Drogba, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Frederic Kanoute and Andre Ayew are among 62 professional footballers who have signed a petition sent to UEFA to protest a decision to award Israel the under-21 European championships next year in the wake of fresh conflict with Palestine.

The players said allowing Israel to host the competition would condone the Jewish nation’s position against the Gaza-based militants.

The players, most of whom ply their trade in the English, French, Italian and Spanish leagues, expressed solidarity with Gazans.

“The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the death of over a hundred civilians, was yet another stain on the world's conscience, as the people there continue living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom,” the letter said.

The eight-team competition is scheduled to hold in Israel from June 5 to 18.

Several international pro-Palestinian groups and the Palestine Football Association have previously complained to UEFA president Michel Platini to move the competition from Israel.

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