CNN reported on Dec. 3 that more than 60 soccer players signed a petition calling on a European soccer federation to move the Under-21 European Championship from Israel, that soccer star Didier Drogba was one of those players, and that Israel's bombing of a stadium in Gaza resulted in the deaths of four young people playing soccer.
All three claims are false.
As the Associated Press reported yesterday, "Didier Drogba says he wasn’t among the soccer players to sign a petition protesting the decision to hold next year’s European under-21 championship in Israel." (See more at CiF Watch.)
And because at least one other player listed among the purported 62 signatories, Yohan Cabaye, also denied signing it, CNN's claim that "More than 60 players" signed the petition is likewise false.
Perhaps most importantly, the CNN story restatement of the petition's claim that "a bomb attack by Israeli forces on a football stadium in Gaza on November 10 ... killed four teenage players" is also false, according to a Palestinian witness to the fatal attack quoted in the New York Times, who is also a relative of one of the teenage boys.
The petition states that "the Israeli army bombed a sports stadium in Gaza, resulting in the death of four young people playing football, Mohamed Harara and Ahmed Harara, 16 and 17 years old; Matar Rahman and Ahmed Al Dirdissawi, 18 years old."
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