RCIR calls again on FIFA Council act on Israeli Settlement Clubs

RCIR calls again on FIFA Council act on Israeli Settlement Clubs

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.

Yours sincerely,

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

Switzerland Mr Gianni Infantino President, FIFA
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
Paraguy Sr Alejandro Dominguez President, CONMEBOL
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

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