A PROTEST by a pro-Palestinian campaign group has taken place at tonight’s Scotland v Israel match at Hampden Park. 

Organised by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the protest supported a call from Palestinian football players to boycott the match between the two nations.  

In a heartfelt plea posted to YouTube, players of the Palestinian nation teams asked fans to boycott the tie in solidarity.  

The President of the Palestinian Football Association, Gabriel Rajoub, saying: “Palestinian athletes are subjected to oppression and terrorism, including many of whom have been arrested or assassinated.  

“Many of our facilities have been destroyed and free movement of players is restricted within Palestine and internationally. 

Khaled Qawasmi, a player in the Palestinian national team, said: “There were a lot of players whose sports career was interrupted due to an injury from attacks by occupation forces. This led to a decrease in players available.” 

Leila Al-Sheikh, a player in the Palestinian women’s national team, said: “We suffer many problems due to the occupation, for example, we are late in training because of the military checkpoints.  

“We have a lack of sports equipment, and there is a difficulty in establishing stadiums because of occupation authorities.” 

Another member of the men’s national team, Awid Saleh, said: “We are suffering from problems from the occupation as players and teams are not able to compete, especially in foreign championships, because of the banning of a number of players from travelling.  

“As happened just a few days ago, the occupation prevented six players form a junior team from travelling to compete in an Arab championship.” 

Mick Napier, a founding member of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, said: “The SFA will be hosting a nation which has condemned by groups such as the United Nations Human Rights Council and Amnesty.  

“I was around to see apartheid happen and the boycott of sports was one of the biggest ways to hit South Africa at that time.  

“It seems evident to us that the public opinion is critical of Israel, even the Scottish Government has implemented an arms embargo on them.” 

The Nations League game marks the first in a run of matches in which Scotland will come up against the Israeli National Team within a few weeks, with the Euro 2020 play-off match set for Thursday 8 October. 

The two teams have met five times in the past 40 years, with a gap of 32 years since their last meeting which ended in a 1-0 win for the Scots.  

Glasgow Times:

The Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign implored protesters to boycott both the Nations League match and the upcoming Euros 2020 play-off, as Mick told the crowd: “This game is the SFA’s shame.”  

Mick also asked the crowd of around 70 people to boycott sports brand Puma, saying: “Puma sponsors and supplies materials to the Israeli football team.  

“Watford Football Club dumped Puma following a major campaign. We can do the same.” 

Earlier in the day, graffiti was painted on the side of the entrance tunnel to the national stadium in Glasgow’s South Side, which read ‘Palestinian Blood’ in red paint. 

The graffiti was quickly removed by cleaners before the start of the match.  

In attendance at the protest was also Councillor Hanif Raja MBE, who showed solidarity coming from a Kashmir background.  

The protest took place shortly before the start of the match, with posters and banners held up as team buses arrived at the stadium.  

Mick said: “We’re wanting to cause a stir, that is the reason for it, and we hope that they’ll be able to see our messages and banners from the team bus.  

“We have advised that those attending socially distance and wear a mask.” 

The protesters stuck around in the ground after teams arrived, and slowly dispersed after the starting whistle was blown.