The condition of Palestinian football player Mahmoud Sarsak has sparked a worldwide protest against Israel, where Sarsak has been held in prison for three years without trial.
As Sarsak has been on hunger strike for more than 85 days, FIFA (world’s top football authority), FIFPro (the association of professional football players) and sports personalities including legendary French footballer Eric Cantona have expressed their grave concern over the Palestinian athlete. Issuing a statement on FIFA’s website this week, FIFA President Sepp Blatter expressed his grave concern over the imprisonment of Sarsak and other Palestinian national team players in Israel and called on Israeli authorities to take action to remedy the situation. “FIFA urgently calls on IFA [Israeli Football Association] to draw the attention of the Israeli competent authorities to the present matter, with the aim of ensuring the physical integrity of the concerned players as well as their right for due process,” the statement read. He also argued that the incarceration of the Palestinian footballers apparently constitutes a “violation of their integrity and human rights,” without the apparent right to due process.