Posted June 18, 2012 on
AP on Fox
UEFA President Michel Platini says his organization has ignored Palestinian calls to strip Israel of hosting rights for the 2013 European Under-21 Championship despite ''a certain amount of pressure being put on us.''
Last week, Palestine Football Association President Jibril Rajoub urged UEFA to remove Israel as host in protest against the Israeli authorities' decision to hold three Palestinian footballers without trial.
However, Platini wrote to Israel Football Association President Avi Luzon on Monday to confirm the country will stage the 2013 tournament from June 15-28.
The letter says ''UEFA is an apolitical organisation and your association earned the right to host this competition through a fair, democratic vote.''
On Monday, the most prominent of the footballers, Mahmoud Sarsak, agreed to end a hunger strike in return for his freedom.
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