The following letter has been sent to all members of the FIFA Council – prior to the 9-10 January 2107 meeting. We are concerned that Israeli obfuscation will mislead Council members on what is a simple and straightforward legal and regulatory position devoid of any political content.
Red Card Israeli Racism Campaign
PO Box BM PSA, London, WC1N 3XX
1 January 2017
To all members of the FIFA Council
(see Appendix 2 below)
Dear FIFA Council member,
FIFA Council meeting 9-10 January 2017
Israeli Settlement Clubs
Mr Tokyo Sexwale, chairman of FIFA’s Israel Palestine Monitoring Committee, will present his report which will include the problem of Israeli Settlement Clubs playing in Israeli leagues.
Our Campaign wishes to emphasise two important points.
First, the current status of the West Bank is crystal clear according to international law. The West Bank is Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. This was confirmed by the unopposed adoption of Resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council on 23 December 2016.
Second, precedents for managing football clubs in occupied territory have already been established in order not to violate FIFA’s Statute 72 (2) which limits games to the territories of the relevant national association. After the invasion of Crimea by Russia, UEFA helped Crimean clubs to set up their own league outside the Russian Football Association.
Therefore, we believe that the FIFA Council should instruct the Israeli Football Association to exclude the Israeli Settlement clubs from its leagues. In this way FIFA will be respecting both its own Statutes and International Law and excluding political considerations. The Settlement clubs should form their own league.
If the Israeli FA does not comply, the Council should immediately suspend the Israeli FA from FIFA. It would most unwise for FIFA to align itself with illegal actions that bring football into disrepute.
Our letter to you of 3 October 2016 gives a detailed account of the wider discrimination against Palestinian football, including violence against footballers and obstruction of players’ movements. It also refers to the racism at Beitar Jerusalem football club. Other expert opinion has been submitted to Mr Sexwale and is listed in Appendix 1 below.
Red Card Israeli Campaign
Appendix 1 Advice submitted to FIFA
UN Legal opinions submitted to FIFA by Wilfried Lemke, as reported in the press 11 October 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/11/un-sets-out-position-on-israeli-settlement-clubs-letter-fifa
Senior Lawyers’ opinions submitted to FIFA 22 September 2016 http://rcir.org.uk/?p=1839
Human Rights Watch report 25 September 2016 https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/09/25/israel/palestine-fifa-sponsoring-games-seized-land.
UEFA report on action over Crimean clubs, 22 August 2014
European Middle East Project and the European Council on Foreign Relations article published on 29 June 2016 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/06/fifa-recognise-israeli-settlement-teams-160629093205191.html
Letter from 60 Members of the European Parliament, 9 September 2016
Letter from European Jews for a Just Peace on 11 August 2016
Early Day motion by British Members Parliament, tabled 14 December 2016
Appendix 2 List of addressees
|American Samoa||Ms||Sandra||Fruean||Vice President, Football Federation of American Samoa|
|Bahrain||Sheikh||Salman bin Ebrahim||Al Khalifa||President, Asian Football Confederation|
|Belgium||Mr||Michel||D Hooghe||Hon. President, Royal Belgian Football Association,|
|Brazil||Mr||Fernando||Sarney||CONMEBOL representative at FIFA|
|Burundi||Ms||Lydia||Nsekera||CAF representative at FIFA|
|Cameroon||Mr||Issa||Hayatou||Senior Vice President, FIFA|
|Canada||Mr||Victor||Montagliani||President, Canadian Soccer Association|
|Colombia||Sr||Ramon||Jesurun||President, Colombian Footbball Federation|
|Congo DR||Mr||Constant||Omari||President, Fédération Congolaise de Football-Association|
|Cook Islands||Mr||Lee||Harmon||President, Cook Islands Football Association|
|Cuba||Mr||Luis||Hernández||President, Asociación de Futbol de Cuba|
|Cyprus||Mr||Marios||Lefkaritis||Vice President UEFA Executive Committee|
|Egypt||Mr||Hany||Abo Rida||President, Egyptian Football Association
|England||Mr||David||Gill||Vice Chairman, The FA|
|Equador||Ms||Maria Sol||Munoz||Federación Ecuatoriana de Fútbol|
|Ghana||Mr||Kwesi||Nyantakyi||President, Ghana Football Association|
|Guinea||Mr||Salifou||Camara||Vice President, Confédération of African Football|
|Italy||Ms||Evelina||Christillin||Representative, Italian Football Federation|
|Malaysia||Prince H.R.H.||Abdullah||President; Football Association of Malaysia|
|Japan||Mr||Kohzo||Tashima||President,Japan Football Association|
|Kuwait||Sheikh Dr.||Talal Al Fahad||Al Sabah||President, Kuwait Football Association|
|Panama||Mr||Pedro||Chaluja||President, Federación Panameña de Fútbol|
|Papua New Guinea||Mr||David||Chung||President, Papua New Guinea Football Association|
|Russia||Mr||Vitaly||Mutko||President, Football Association of Russia|
|Slovenia||Mr||Aleksander||Ceferin||President, Football Association of Slovenia|
|Spain||Mr||Ángel María||Villar Llona||President, Real Federación Española de Fútbol,|
|Tunisia||Mr||Tarek||Bouchamaoui||Executive Committee Member,Confédération Africaine de Football|
|Turkey||Mr||Senes||Erzik||UEFA representative at FIFA|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Ms||Sonia||Bien-Aime||President, Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association|
|Uruguy||Esc||Wilmar||Valdez||President, Uruguyan Footbball Federation|
|USA||Mr||Sunil||Gulati||President, United States Soccer Federation|
|Senegal||Ms||Fatma||Samora||Secretary General, FIFA|