Football Under Occupation

Source: The New Internationalist

Source: The New Internationalist

It was widely reported at the end of March that the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) would ask the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to suspend Israel from its membership, on the grounds that Israel had violated a number of FIFA statutes and was actively curbing Palestinian soccer activities. Despite attempts by a task force set up at FIFA’s 64th congressional meeting in September 2014 to resolve the problem, Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PFA, was frustrated at the lack of meaningful progress, leading him submit the request.

FIFA’s vote on suspending Israel was scheduled to take place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on 29 May 2015, but was dropped hours before. Though an anti-climax for human rights campaigners gathered outside – who had been waving red cards in the faces of arriving FIFA officials – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the PFA had been trying to politicize sport.

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