The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) yesterday condemned Israel’s decision to prevent a member of the Palestine national team Sameh Marabah from travelling to Jordan on his way to Australia to participate in the Asian Nations Cup, the Anadolu Agency reported.
In a statement on its website, the PFA said: “Israel prevented Sameh Marabah from traveling and returned him to his home after detaining his passport for more than five hours.”
“The Israeli decision is contrary to all international conventions and laws, especially the regulations of the International Olympic Committee and FIFA which ensure freedom of movement for all players around the world,” it said.
“The Israeli occupation’s continued crimes against the Palestinian people and athletes are unlawful and aim to disable sports development in Palestine and to deprive the Palestinian youth from playing sports like other young people around the world.”
The PFA called on FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and all sport international federations which abide by FIFA’s laws and regulations and the Olympic Charter to stand up and express their position on all the violations against Palestinian players.
A member of the PFA’s administrative board, Tayseer Nasrallah, said Marabah was prevented from travelling for security reasons. The player has previously been detained in an Israeli prison and now plays in the Islamic Club in Qalqilya, West Bank, which Israel accuses of supporting Hamas.
Mar’aba was released from military detention just north of Nablus on 7 December 2014 after eight months of illegal detention by Israeli forces – see picture of him being welcomed by his brother. His 30-day term was renewed eight times. He was originally arrested on the 28th of April upon his return from a national team training camp in Qatar at the Karameh border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. This arrest prevented him from traveling with the team to the Maldives for the 2014 Challenge Cup and has also cost him a spot at the 2014 Asian Games and now, it seems, in the 2015 Asian Cup.