FIFA to deliberate on disqualifying Israeli teams from the West Bank

FIFA is expected to vote on an anti-Israel resolution this coming weekend. According to Palestinian claims, headed by PA official and representative to the organizarion Jibril Rajoub, five Israeli teams play beyond the Green Line and thus are in violation of the rules of the international organization and should be disqualified.
Palestinian FIFA representative Jibril Rajoub Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

The Palestinian struggle against Israel at FIFA has reached another turning point. This coming weekend, the World Football Association's governing body will meet in India to discuss, among other things, the FIFA emissary's special report examining the Palestinian claims against Israel. Their accusations against Israel focus on five Israeli teams from the West Bank who, according to the report, are in serious violation of the organization's rules.

As part of the conclusion of the report, the chairman of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine South African Tokyo Sexwale, proffered three proposals for the 37 members of the executive committee ( not including Chairman of the Israel Football Association Ofer Eini and Palestinian Authority representative Jibril Rajoub) to choose from.

The terms of the report are as follows: According to the first, the Israeli Association will be given a six-month extension during which it will be required to cease all formal association with the Israeli teams from the West Bank- this being the worst option for Israel. According to the second option, the members of the Executive Council can decide that this is a political issue that goes beyond FIFA's scope- and thus all Israeli teams can remain in the organization regardless of the political situation. According to the third proposal, the association would begin an additional round of discussions and no decision will be reached at this stage.

It is also possible that the board of directors will decide at the last minute to completely remove the issue from the agenda, primarily due to the Palestinians' petition against FIFA at CAS, the Swiss Court of Appeals for Sports.

For the time being, it would appear that the likelihood that FIFA will reach a sweeping decision against Israel is not high. However, the legal advisers to the association in Israel, led by Attorney Ephraim Barak, are taking the threat seriously and have gone to great lengths to ensure a positive outcome from the upcoming deliberation.



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