UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Calls for dismissal of Football Association’s Inclusion chief over discrimination claims

The Football Association’s decision not to light up Wembley Stadium in the colours of the Israeli flag appears to be discriminatory and in breach of the Equality Act 2010, according to UKLFI.

UKLFI wrote to the Football Association on Friday 13 October, hours before the match against Australia that was due to take place that evening, urging them to reverse their decision regarding the illuminations.

UKLFI pointed out that since the Wembley Arch was lit up for Ukraine and France when they were viciously attacked, the refusal to do so for Israel would appear to constitute discrimination contrary to section 29 of the Equality Act 2010. The discriminatory view previously expressed by Deji Davies, Chair of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, provides further evidence in support of that conclusion.

Deji Davies tweeted in June 2013 that he was boycotting the European U21 tournament as it was being held in Israel, and that he certainly wouldn’t be watching it. This was coupled with the hashtag #FreePalestine.

UKLFI also asked whether Mr Davies declared an interest before participating in the decision. UKLFI argued that he should have declared an interest and should have been excluded from participating in the decision, and that his position is now untenable.

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented: “British Jews can have no confidence that Mr Davies will carry out his responsibilities fairly in this very sensitive and important role. He should resign and if he does not do so, he should be dismissed.”