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PA condemns FIFA for not putting sanctions on ‘illegal’ Israel teams

Image of a protest calling on FIFA to suspend Israel's membership [File photo]
A protest calling on FIFA to suspend Israel's membership [File photo]

Head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Jibril Al-Rajoub yesterday commended FIFA’s decision not to impose sanctions of Israel’s Football Association following the entry of six teams which are based in illegal West Bank settlements, Quds Net reported.

The PFA had filed a complaint against six Israeli teams playing in the illegal Israeli Jewish settlements, stating that this is contrary to FIFA statutes which state that a member country’s teams cannot play matches on the territory of another association without permission, Reuters said.

In addition, the PFA had also complained that Israel hampers its activities; including limiting the movement of players between the West Bank and Gaza, and that it has barred some international travel.

“FIFA has decided to refrain from imposing any sanctions or other measures on either the Israel FA or the Palestinian FA,” FIFA President Gentilini Infantino said, according to Reuters. “These territories are a concern for the international public law authorities and FIFA has to remain neutral.”

Moreover, a FIFA statement said: “The matter is declared closed and will not be the subject of any further discussion until the legal and/or de facto framework has changed.”

Read: Football fans and players everywhere demand justice for Palestine

Al-Rajoub replied: “Today, we are facing a real crisis that is opposed by all the FIFA rules, the recommendations of the International Union’s Committee… and the principle of human rights.”

The Palestinian official revealed that his is going to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as it is an independent body, in the hope that it will not come under any pressure.

Al-Rajoub hailed the stance of the Asian Union which supported the Palestinian demands of FIFA.

He also hailed FIFA for recognising the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 that recognises the West Bank is an occupied Palestinian territory and discussed the freedom of movement of the Palestinian players and called for facilitating the development of sports.

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