Paris, 22 June 2015

In a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) President, Michel Platini, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested “Spain's Mundo Deportivo (Sports World) newspaper columnist, Xavier Bosch reported claim that a 'Jewish lobby' with 'unlimited money and inordinate influence... control the world and its international institutions'.”

Samuels noted that this lobby is apparently accused of "pressuring FC Barcelona to end its $200 million shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation,” and that, “Mossad agents had infiltrated the Club for years.” This calumny is thought to refer to allegations that previous Barcelona Club President, Joan Laporta, had employed private investigators to spy on players – a charge perhaps aimed to impact on Laporta's current campaign for reelection on 18 July.”

The letter emphasized that, “even more damning is the quoted response of Mundo Deportivo's Barcelona editor, Fernando Pola: '[Bosch] is simply concerned about the external pressure [FC Barcelona] and its Board are receiving against the Qatar sponsorship... Bosch just wants the best for the Club, without opposition from outside. There is no antisemitism in his article. He is against any kind of lobby: French,German, Jewish'.”

Samuels argued, “one wonders which is more dangerous? The columnist's expressions deemed 'antisemitic' under the European Union's definition or the antisemitism of indifference of the editor?”

The Centre urged UEFA “to investigate these reports and, according to your findings, demand of Mundo Deportivo the dismissal of Xavier Bosch and an apology for having offended both the Jewish people and the beautiful game.”