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Palestinian football body calls on FIFA to suspend Israel’s membership

The Palestinian Football Federation yesterday called on FIFA to show Israel “the red card” after Israeli soldiers stormed its offices in Ramallah last week, reported.

Palestinian Football Federation president Jibril Rajoub said: “I do believe that last week’s raiding the headquarters of the association was a disgrace for everybody and I think this requires a position from the family of football.”

“I think it is the time to take sanctions. What happened last week had no precedents in the history of sport. … I want to remain representing … the values of the game rather than through the violence of the guns and rifles.”

Last Monday, three military Israeli patrols raided the headquarters of the Palestinian Football Federation, blocked the employees and thoroughly inspected the offices without giving any information about the reasons behind their acts.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa condemned the “unjustified aggression” on one of the Federation’s affiliates, calling it “unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, Rajoub expressed his fears that the Israeli restrictions on travel might prevent Palestine from dispatching its best players to the first major international tournament.

The Palestinian national team qualified for AFC Asian Cup for the first time in history, due in January next year in Australia. It was also awarded the Best National Team prize in Asia for the year 2014.

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