FIFA’s congress turned down a Palestinian demand to oust Israel from its ranks.
The executive council of the world’s governing body for football, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has turned down a Palestinian demand to remove the Israeli Football Association (IFA) from its ranks.
FIFA’s 211 member associations assembled in Manama, Bahrain, on Wednesday for the 67th FIFA Congress, during which the organization’s supreme body made a few important decisions and agreed on key steps for the organization’s future.
Following the proposal of the FIFA Council, the Congress overwhelmingly voted against a motion submitted by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) requesting official recognition of the PFA’s entitlements to all of its rights as described in the FIFA Statutes.
Such a move would have Israeli teams based in Judea and Samaria declared teams originating from “occupied territory” and would require the IFA to expel them or face a penalty itself.
More than 100 sports and so-called human rights associations have called on FIFA to demand that the IFA exclude teams based in Judea and Samaria and for FIFA to suspend Israel completely if it refuses to comply.
Israel argues that FIFA rules cannot be enforced as there is no permanent border. The Congress said the matter needs more time because a consolidated report of the monitoring committee is not yet ready, and that more time is needed to evaluate the situation and make a decision.
“Nevertheless, the Council has committed to deciding on the matter already at its next meeting, on 27 October 2017,” FIFA said in a statement.
Jibril Rajoub – You Lose Again
Israeli officials said they viewed the vote as a massive victory.
Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev tweeted “Jibril Rajoub – you lose again. All your attempts to have Israel expelled from FIFA have failed,” she said of PFA head Jibril Rajoub, who served time in Israeli prison for terror and continues to glorify violence.
IFA head Ofer Eini said Israel has warm support at FIFA. “The Palestinian attempt to embarrass Israel and to lead to practical steps against it has failed. We have good and loyal friends at FIFA,” he stated.
“FIFA should show the red card only to those who wish to utilize this important organization to prevent the playing of football because of political aspirations,” Eini stated.
He conceded that the case was not completely closed against Israel at FIFA, but expressed optimism saying that Israel can allow itself “a small smile.”
This is not the first time Arab entities have tried and failed to undermine Israel through FIFA.
The Palestinians have utilized FIFA several times over the past year as a platform for undermining Israel.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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Source: United with Israel