Match officials cracked down on anti-Israel protestors following a warning letter from the Ireland Israel Alliance, assisted by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI).
Pro-Palestinian protestors arriving at the Ireland/Israel under 21 football match which took place on Friday 23 September, were surprised when their keffiyahs, flyers and flags were confiscated at the match entrance.
Harry McCann tweeted: “Security are confiscating flyers and Palestinian flags at Tallaght Stadium tonight on the way into the U21 European Championship playoff between Ireland and Israel.”
ZaZaFl tweeted: “Disgraceful that @FAIreland confiscated information leaflets, made people take off kuffiyehs & refused entry to a fan with the top of an FC Palestina jersey visible until he swapped coats with a friend at last night’s Ireland U21s match against apartheid Israel. Free expression?”
Jackie Goodall of the Ireland Israel Alliance had written to Jonathan Hill, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland, alerting him to a planned protest by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). This pro-Palestinian group had organised an anti-Israel protest at the football stadium, calling for Israel to be expelled from the Football Association and FIFA.
Goodall alerted Mr Hill to the tweet from the IPSC, calling for people to join a protest against Israel at the football match. She wrote: “the IPSC wants to turn an event of sporting excellence involving a multi-ethnic Israeli side, bridging two nations, into an opportunity for rancour and division.”
Goodall, with the assistance of UKLFI, warned the Football Association of Ireland that the Ireland/Israel match was a UEFA match, held under UEFA rules, so host clubs and associations are liable for incidents of any kind and may be subject to disciplinary measures and directives unless they can prove that they have not been negligent in any way in the organisation of the match.
In particular, Goodall pointed out that host clubs and national associations are responsible for order and security both inside and around the stadium before, during and after matches.
They are also liable for inappropriate behaviour on the part of their supporters including:
the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit a provocative message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly provocative messages that are of a political, ideological, religious or offensive nature;
any other kind of crowd disturbance (such as lack of order or discipline) observed inside or around the stadium before, during or after the match.