Palestine Drops Bid to Suspend Israel from FIFA*
This FIFA saga demonstrates what global thuggery is at play… So what prospects in the International Court of Justice?
The PFA president said he will drop the motion and instead focus on ensuring the free movement of Palestinian players.
The Palestine Football Association Friday dropped its earlier proposal to suspend Israel from the world football organization FIFA.
Last week, the PFA pushed for a veto to suspend the Israeli Football Association’s membership in FIFA, saying the systemic controls under the occupation have been impeding the PFA from playing the game.
For the past two years, the PFA has been filing complaints to FIFA over Israel’s systemic violations. These include Palestinian players being killed in the latest war on Gaza and others in confrontations with Israeli forces in the West Bank, as well as players being injured or detained by Israeli forces.
Israeli authorities have also imposed restrictions on the building of sports facilities in Palestinian territory, broken up games and even attacked the PFA headquarters. Players are also frequently not granted the necessary permits to travel outside of the West Bank or Gaza, a major hurdle for the PFA who has formed a team with Palestinians from both regions.
Speaking at the FIFA congress in Zurich, Switzerland Friday, Jibril Rajoub, President of the PFA said he had been persuaded to back down on the motion to have Israel suspended from the organization.
Instead, Rajoub proposed that free movement be ensured for Palestinian players. He also insisted that an investigation be launched into alleged Israeli racism against Palestinians, and demanded that the five Israeli league teams currently playing on occupied land be banned.
According to media reports, the move was welcomed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
President of Israel’s Football Association, Ofer Eini, said he wanted Israel and Palestine to “work together” and “join forces,” proposing a joint committee between the Israeli and Palestinian football leagues and FIFA.
“Let’s leave it to the politicians to do politics,” said Eini.
Rajoub initially refused the proposal, saying he would only agree to a joint committee if a deal was made to address the Palestinian association’s grievances. However, the PFA president and Eini were later seen shaking hands.