November 2 – Katarina Pijetlovic is standing down as the general secretary of the Union of European Clubs (UEC) after her views on the Israel-Gaza divided the organisation.
Pijetlovic has been the driving force behind the UEC, a new body in European football that seeks to represent the continent’s smaller and medium-sized clubs to counterbalance the European Club Association (ECA) and fill a governance gap, but the recent conflict in the Middle East caused a rift in UEC with Pijetlovic posting messages on social media that reflect her strong sympathy for the Palestinian cause.
She was forced to stand down as general secretary following a “unanimous decision” made within the UEC.
In a statement, Pijetlovic said: “My unconditional and permanent support from the start went to a moral principle and humanity and not to any organisation.
“I didn’t work to build the UEC to have no backbone and to fall under the pressure of those that are content with a regime murdering thousands of children, starving them of food and water, engaging in ethnic cleansing and committing war crimes.
“Organisations are only as valuable as the values they stand by during hard times.”
Daniel Lambert of Ireland’s Bohemians has also left the organisation. He served on the interim board, but Lambert also backs the Palestinians, with posts on social media platform X.
His club staged youth programmes for Palestinian children in the West Bank. This weekend Bohemians will host an outdoor screening of the film ‘Gaza’ and ticket revenue will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Pijetlovic’s exit from the UEC leaves a question mark over the future of the organisation that is still seeking members to form a critical mass and become a proper stakeholder in European football.
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