Thursday, April 27, 2006

Petition to bar Iran's President from attending the World Cup

Simon Wiesenthal Center:

Please join with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in its urgent campaign to bar Iran's President from attending the World Cup in Berlin in June.

Mr. Joseph S. Blatter President of Federation Internationale de Football Association

I join with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in urging you, in your capacity as President of FIFA, to bar Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from attending the forthcoming World Cup in Germany this June.

The Iranian President has openly called for Israel's destruction and is an avowed Holocaust denier, having called the Nazi Holocaust a "myth". The international community of sports must not allow such a person to sit in the VIP section at one of the world's most prestigious sporting events. His presence would evoke painful memories of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games when leaders of the Third Reich sat in the VIP section, a move that gained them stature and acceptance throughout the world.

It would indeed be a travesty if FIFA found it fit to condemn Israel for an air strike on an empty soccer field in the Gaza Strip used for training by terrorists but would lose its voice in protest against a promoter of genocide and a Holocaust denier taking a seat in the VIP section of the World Cup.

Even if the ultimate decision to invite President Ahmadinejad to Germany was not FIFA's, it is crucial for an organization devoted to fairness and equality not to stand on the sidelines of this issue. Silence will only further embolden this dangerous demagogue.

Please act now!


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