The following letter was sent to all UEFA member associations, prior to UEFA’s Annual Congress, calling on them to support Palestinian proposals for sanctions against the Israeli FA from FIFA at its Annual Congress on 28-29 May.
FIFA’s Response to Israeli Racism
The South African Football Association was excluded from FIFA for thirty years until the state renounced apartheid. Sport helped bring about this momentous change.
On 29 May this year at the FIFA Annual Congress you will have the opportunity similarly to exclude the Israel FA because of Israel’s ongoing barbaric abuses directed at footballers and at Palestinian football itself. (1)
Israel’s repressive actions have severely damaged and held back Palestinian football. Palestine FA President Jibril Rajoub outlined the situation at last year’s FIFA Congress. Virtually nothing has improved. For example, PFA Vice President Ibrahim Abu Salim’s own house was bombed last July and the PFA’s Ramallah HQ was raided in November during a visit by FIFA representatives. These incidents accurately reflect Israeli intentions towards Palestinian sport.
The IFA is for practical purposes a state institution, controlled by the State Comptroller and significantly financed by the state. It is therefore complicit in the terrorism and repression meted out by the state.
In addition, the IFA has persistently failed to tackle racism within the Israeli league. In 2012 the Coalition Against Racism in Israel and the Mossawa Centre demanded that their record be held up to scrutiny. Since then the situation has only got worse, particularly at Beitar Jerusalem where the notorious La Familia gang appears to have defeated all attempts to reform that club’s disgraceful and illegal practices. This cannot be tolerated.
Now the IFA is promoting apartheid within its own children’s league, as we alerted you in our letters of 7/11/14 and 24/2/15. In sum their violation of Fifa’s third statute is clear and overwhelming.
We believe that the IFA should be suspended from FIFA until Israel observes international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians. We anticipate that the PFA will propose a motion calling for the imposition of sanctions at the May Congress, and we call on you to support it. European voices are particularly important.
Only such pressure will improve conditions for Palestinian sport and lead to an improvement in the civil society of Palestine and Israel.
(1): Please see: http://xssportpal.blogspot.co.uk/