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07:46 (IST), Apr 19

Palestine and Israel on the agenda of the FIFA congress

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) will submit a motion at the FIFA congress in May demanding ‘decisive action’ against Israel and its Football Association (IFA).
The motion, which requires the first debate at a major conference of sports organizations on the war in the Gaza Strip, will be one of the key items on the agenda in Bangkok at the annual meeting, along with the choice of the host of the Women’s 2027 conference . World Cup and a plan to combat racism.

The proposal is based on a letter the PFA sent to FIFA in March.

It calls for “appropriate sanctions, with immediate effect, against Israeli teams, including national representative teams and club teams, due to the violations of international law committed by the Israeli occupation in Palestine, especially in Gaza.”

Israel’s military offensive followed Hamas’ October 7 attack in southern Israel.

The PFA accuses its Israeli counterpart, the IFA, of violating FIFA’s statutes by recognizing clubs in occupied territory and failing to “take decisive action against discrimination and racism in the areas under its jurisdiction.”

“Only in Israeli football can a club openly prevent Arabs from joining its ranks, and harsh violence is treated exclusively as a disciplinary offence,” said the PFA statement, naming Beitar Jerusalem, which, in its own words say, has never signed an Arab player.

The proposal was supported by the Algerian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Syrian and Yemeni football federations – but not by Qatar or Saudi Arabia.

Also on the agenda in Bangkok is the establishment of new FIFA committees “including seven for women’s football”, and the choice of the host for the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

A joint European bid from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands will compete against the United States and Mexico, who together with Canada hosted the Men’s World Cup last year.