Target: Michel Platini, President of Union of European Football Association (UEFA)
Goal: Condemn neo-Nazi presence in European football clubs and ask UEFA to take action.
Young football (soccer in the US) fans in Europe, particularly Germany, have become the target of neo-Nazi’s seeking to spread their ideology. The German government intelligence service has reported an increase of neo-Nazi’s in football clubs of cities such as Cottbus. Sign the petition to condemn the neo-Nazi presence in these football clubs and ask the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) to take action.
Winfriede Schreiber, head of the Brandenburg branch of the German government’s intelligence service says that neo-Nazis are making efforts to blend in and woo young men to their cause. They no longer wear the jackboots and leather jackets that made it easy to identify them. Jens Teschke, a spokesman for Germany’s interior ministry, says that a neo-Nazi presence exists throughout the country but is strongest in East Germany. One of the tactics used by neo-Nazis is to take young football fans to holiday retreats built during the Nazi era to praise their legacy.
Neo-Nazis are also present in other countries such as England. Tottenham Hotspur has a significant population of Jewish fans and has often received anti-Semitic abuse. In November 2012 fans of rival West Ham United shouted “Adolf Hitler, he’s coming for you.” 50 masked men armed with knives and baseball bats attacked Hotspur fans in Rome during a Europa League match. The men were shouting “Jews! Jews!” during the attack and one American college student was stabbed in the lung.
Jewish teams and athletic clubs throughout Europe regularly face anti-Semitic abuse and assault. UEFA has a responsibility to provide a safe space for both fans and football players. UEFA must punish football clubs that display racist and anti-Semitic behavior to show that neo-Nazis won’t be tolerated. Sign the petition to condemn neo-Nazi presence in European football clubs and ask UEFA to take action.
Dear President Platini,
I am writing as a concerned football fan and citizen to ask you to take action over the neo-Nazi presence in football clubs throughout the continent. German intelligence has reported that neo-Nazis are attempting to use football clubs to spread their ideology. There has been a disturbing number of anti-Semitic and racist incidents. Most notably, the attack on Tottenham Hotspur fans in Rome by 50 masked armed men was motivated in part by anti-Semitism.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has noted the spread of the problem, “The problem of anti-Semitic abuse at soccer matches which until recently has been limited to Eastern Europe, has been revived in Western Europe.” Other incidents include members of a Turkish team shouting at Turkish players on Tus Makkabi Berlin, “How can you play for these damned Jews?” The coach of Makkabi Berlin reports after the match the coach of the Turkish team came up to him and said, “We f**d you Jews.” In that case the Turkish coach was suspended for a year but in many other cases there is no punishment for incidents of racist and anti-Semitic behavior.
I hope you consider investigating and punishing football clubs that allow neo-Nazi presence and discriminatory behavior.
[Your Name Here]