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Scrisoare deschisa catre UEFA si Michel Platini

October 22nd, 2009

Asociatia Indepedenta a Suporterilor Stelisti a decis sa mearga mai departe in incercarea noastra de a semnala si opri abuzurile pe care FC Steaua le-a comis impotriva suporterilor care au fost interzisi la meciurile echipei. Astazi, absurditatile si ilegalitatile comise de George Becali si staff-ul sau odios au fost aduse la cunostinta reprezentantilor forului suprem european, UEFA, printr-o scrisoare deschisa. Consideram ca s-a ajuns intr-o situatie fara precedent in istoria clubului si a fotbalului european, drept pentru care AISS a trimis aceasta scrisoare, pe care o reproducem mai jos. Mentionam ca aceasta scrisoare, din partea suporterilor stelisti, a fost trimisa si catre presa din Romania, dar si catre cotidianele de prestigiu international.

Bucharest, 21.10.2009

To the attention of Mr. Michel Platini, UEFA President,

Dear Sir,

This open letter was sent to you on behalf of the official Supporters’ Association (AISS) of Steaua Football Club Bucharest and of the official Steaua supporters’ site (fcsteaua.ro).

Founded in 2006 and being the first – and only – official association of Steaua Bucharest football supporters, AISS (the Independent Association of Steaua Supporters) brings together Steaua fans from all over Romania, as well as Europe and the United States, and is committed to promoting through its actions such football values as respect, diversity and a fair-play attitude towards the game.

Founded in 2001, the official supporters’ site – fcsteaua.ro – gathers over 40.000 registered fans from all over the world, being a steady source of information for all Steaua fans, as well as a way of communication for people sharing the same values and passion for our club.

We address to you, Mr. Platini, and UEFA in general, in order to underline the discrimination and illegal conduct against over 3.000 Steaua supporters in relation with both UEFA Europa League games and domestic league home games. To be more specific, following the supporters’ protests against him, the club owner, George Becali, decided to forbid the access into the stadium to all the subscribed supporters (over 3.000 persons), by refusing to sell them tickets to Steaua Bucharest – Fenerbahce Istanbul game, on 22.10.2009, in the UEFA Europa League. George Becali promised to continue to apply the same measures for all UEFA competitions.
These actions were taken against ALL THE SUPPORTERS, even against elder people (men and women) or physically impaired persons who, without any grounding or motivation, were treated as “anti-social elements” and “hooligans” and turned down when they came to the booking office to buy tickets to the game. But George Becali acts like that every single day, making a show of controversial up to extreme, dictatorship manners and ideas in contempt of any good sense, good reason, good will – to say nothing of good advice – and moreover Laws and Regulations.
This decision was widely commented on in the Romanian press and television, which underlined its illegal and incorrect aspects and presented interviews with such persons, some of whom in wheelchairs, turned away from the booking offices and kept outside the stadium, although holders of valid subscription cards.
Instead, free tickets were offered to the members of the club owner’s political party (thus conditioning the entrance to the game by the political preferences of a certain person). Yesterday, however, realizing the potential electoral impact that absurd decision could have, George Becali reconsidered his decision and offered free tickets to elders, impaired people and school-children, as well as a sort of electoral charity to save face in extremis. (Yet, as far as we know, UEFA Regulations forbid distribution of free tickets at European League games).
To note that the presidential campaign is under way now in Romania and Steaua’s current club owner runs as one of the candidates. The implication is that protests against him are considered to be a harmful action for his so said election.
In our opinion, politics should be kept out of the football field and competition and discriminating people on grounds of political beliefs should not be a way for a club to act before an international or UEFA Europa League or any other game, for that matter.
To mention that the kind of behavior described above is only the last piece from a series of racist and discriminating acts conducted by the club’s current owner, George Becali, including but not limited to firing club employees because of their religious creed (a public declaration was made by George Becali that Yuksel Yesilova was fired because he was a Muslim and an official complaint was presented to FIFA on this issue; in the same line, Becali’s intention to have the orthodox cross inserted on the team shirts, an idea he gave up due to pressure from the press and Romanian Football Federation), or because of their national origins (Klemi Saban, another ex-player, was sacked because he was a Jew; Ladislau Bölöni, a living hero of the Steaua winning team 1986 Champions League and current head coach of Standard Liege, was called dirty names for being an ethnic Magyar born in Romania; again in a public declaration – supporters of the Romanian team Rapid Bucharest were not allowed to attend a game on Ghencea Stadium because, quote, “they are just a bunch of gypsies”).

We address UEFA as the organization that always kept racism and discrimination out of football, most respectfully requiring from you and UEFA to take action and stop these abuses, to contribute to bring back the joy of the game to the supporters and not to allow football clubs to empty the stadiums for some owner’s political, selfish purposes or discriminating and racist conduct on grounds of religion, nationality or skin color. Nobody wants an empty, silent stadium and we consider that it is in the interest of both UEFA and football in general that this kind of measures be taken only in extreme cases and only on strict, individual basis, not by massively banning thousands of supporters out of the stadium.

Let us keep politics out of football and let us concentrate on bringing people to the games, not on devising ways to keep them out and away of the stadium gates. Let us RESPECT the ones for whom this game was created – the Supporters.

Thank you for your attention.
Most respectfully yours
Independent Association of Steaua Supporters – AISS.ro
Official Steaua Bucharest fansite – fcsteaua.ro

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