174 Palestinian sports clubs call on FIFA to act on settlement clubs

174 Palestinian sports clubs call on FIFA to act on settlement clubs

A letter from 174 Palestinian sports clubs was forwarded today by PACBI to member associations of the FIFA Council, copied to all other FIFA member associations. The clubs requested that FIFA “take human rights seriously by ensuring that the seven Israeli clubs based in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)* are immediately excluded from the IFA, and suspending the IFA’s membership in FIFA if it fails to exclude them”.  The  full text of the letter and list of signatories is below: 

Dear FIFA Council Member, 

We, the undersigned Palestinian football clubs and associations, write to urge you to uphold human rights and implement FIFA statutes without discrimination at the upcoming congress on May 11. We ask you to ensure that the Israel Football Association (IFA) exclude Israeli teams based in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory from its leagues, and suspend the IFA from FIFA if it refuses to do so. Palestinian football rights, FIFA’s reputation as champion of human rights and our ability to play the beautiful game without fear of repression depend on your decision.

The FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine, which was established two years ago with the aim of improving Palestinian football, has failed to meet its goals. Israel’s persistent attacks on Palestinian football and violations of the rights of Palestinian footballers are still a daily occurrence. The harassment of Palestinian footballers, the deliberate obstruction of our right to movement in the occupied territory denying us the ability to attend training sessions and matches are well documented. In addition, Israel’s military has bombed Palestinian stadiums several times and prevents football spectators and fans from traveling to matches. The IFA continues to violate FIFA’s statutes by sponsoring teams based in illegally occupied Palestinian land.

FIFA’s persistent delays in making a decision on this matter gives the impression that FIFA isn’t serious about the protection of our human rights, or respect for its statutes. It shows that FIFA is putting politics ahead of human rights by giving Israel a free pass. 

FIFA has an unequivocal policy against racism, and took measures to kick racism out of football in the past. FIFA played a historic role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa when it expelled the South African Football Association from FIFA at its 1976 congress in response to the system of apartheid. 

At the upcoming Congress, FIFA once again has a historic opportunity to take human rights seriously by ensuring that the seven Israeli clubs based in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)* are immediately excluded from the IFA, and suspending the IFA’s membership in FIFA if it fails to exclude them. 

We are concerned about reports that FIFA will give the IFA a ‘warning’ period of six-months to exclude settlement teams, without specifying the course of action if it fails to do so. We question the necessity of the six-month extension and view it as a continuation of FIFA’s delays in making a decision on this clear violation of FIFA’s statutes. Two years of attempts by the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine to rectify this issue should be proof enough that the status quo should not be extended. 

Yours sincerely, 

  1. Nuemeh Youth Club
  2. Al Majd  Sport Club for Disabled Persons
  3. Fighting Zone Center
  4. Al Bireh Cultural Club
  5. Al Zubidat Club
  6. Betein Club
  7. Am’ari  Refugee Camp – Social Youth Center
  8. East Sawahreh Club
  9. Borj Al Laqlaq Society
  10. Employees Club
  11. Bido Club
  12. Hizma Islamic Club
  13. Beit Hanina Youth Center
  14. Al Thouri Youth Club
  15. Sur Baher Club
  16. Arab El-Jahaleen Club
  17. Islamic Youth Center – Dahyet Al Bareed
  18. Old City Society
  19. We All Palestine Youth Society
  20. Beit Sourik Club
  21. Sur Baher Islamic Club
  22. Beit Al Maqdes Equestrian Society
  23. Social Youth Center – Shofat Refugee Camp
  24. Al Quds Club
  25. Qattana Club
  26. Al Eizariya Youth Club
  27. Olive Mountain Club
  28. Al Ram Ahli Club
  29. Bir Nabala  Youth Club
  30. Silwan Club
  31. Al-Jeeb Club
  32. Jabal Al Mokaber Club
  33. Hilal Al Quds Club
  34. Beit Safafa Arab Club
  35. Qalandia Social Youth Club
  36. Jerusalem Clubs Collective
  37. Beituniya Club
  38. Al Ram Youth Club
  39. Turmusaya Club
  40. Bilin Club
  41. Al- Mazraa al Sharqiya Club

Jenin Clubs:

  1. Qabatiya Athletic Club
  2. Barta’a Athletic Club
  3. Jalboun Athletic Club
  4. Silat Al Daher Athletic Club
  5. Jenin Athletic Club
  6. Ya’abd Youth Athletic Club
  7. Jenin Youth Center
  8. Hilal Arrana Club
  9. Maithaloon Athletic Club
  10. Marg Bani Amer Club
  11. Deir Abu Ghusoun Club
  12. Silat  El-Harthiya

Qalqilya Clubs

  1. Azzon Athletic Club
  2. Jayyous Athletic Club
  3. Kufor Thulth Athletic Club
  4. Ahli Qalqilia Club
  5. Qalqilia Islamic Athletic Club
  6. Jensafoot Club
  7. Kfor Zeibad Athletic Club
  8. Amaneen Club
  9. Habla Athletic Club
  10. ElNabi Elias Athletic Club
  11. Hijjeh Athletic Club

Tubas Clubs:

  1. Tamoon Athletic Club
  2. Al Faraa Youth Club

Tulkarem Clubs:

  1. Kufor Leid Athletic Club
  2. Deir AlGhusoun Club
  3. Tulkarem Cultural and Athletic Club
  4. Thonabe Club
  5. Noor Shams Club
  6. Al-hweikah Athletic Club
  7. E’teil Athletic Club
  8. Rameen Athletic Club
  9. Feroon Athletic Club
  10. Beit Leid Athletic Club
  11. Irtah Athletic Club
  12. Iktaba Athletic Club
  13. Nazlit Issa Athletic Club
  14. Anabta Athletic Club

Nablus:

  1. Ibal Athletic Club
  2. Balata Youth Center
  3. SuraAthletic Club
  4. Qusra Athletic Club
  5. Number One Youth Club
  6. Beitta Athletic Club
  7. Nablus Youth Club
  8. Qaryout Athletic Club
  9. Huteen Athletic Club
  10. AL Ethad Athletic Club
  11. Jourish Athletic Club
  12. Askar Youth Center
  13. Tel Athletic Club
  14. O’reef Athletic Club
  15. Aqraba Athletic Club
  16. Quseen Athletic Club
  17. Borqa Athletic Club
  18. Jabal ElNar Athletic Club
  19. Al Qastal Athletic Club
  20. Osreen Athletic Club
  21. Beit Eba Athletic Club
  22. Sama Nablus Athletic Club
  23. Tora Athletic Club
  24. Majdal Bani Fadel Club

Salfeet Clubs:

  1. Kufor Al Deek Athletic Club
  2. Salfeet Athletic Club
  3. Bruqeen Athletic Club
  4. Bedia Athletic Club
  5. Abu Shkheidam Club
  6. Dayr ‘Abu Mash’al Club
  7. Kharbatha Almisbah Club
  8. Al-Jiftlik Club
  9. Kufr Ein Club
  10. Saffa club
  11. Deir Jarir Youth club
  12. Jericho Youth club
  13. Aqabat Jaber Social Youth Centre-Aqabet Jaber Refugee Camp
  14. Al Shyoukh Youth Club
  15. Yatta Youth Club
  16. Al Samou’ Youth Club
  17. Beit A’awa Youth Club
  18. Al Istiklal-Yatta Youth Club
  19. Beit Oula  Youth Club
  20. Tafoh Youth Club
  21. Al A’rub Center
  22. Beit Kahel Youth Club
  23. Al Karmel Yatta Club
  24. Halhoul Club
  25. Al Sa’eer  Youth Club
  26. Raboud  Youth Club
  27. Al Burj  Youth Club
  28. Tarqumyah  Youth Club
  29. Nuba  Youth Club
  30. Haras  Youth Club
  31. Tareq Bin Ziyaad club
  32. Beit Al Tefel Al Falsteni
  33. Beit Umar Club
  34. Hebron Youth Club
  35. Hebron Al-Ahli Club
  36. Al Fowar Youth Centre
  37. Tareq Ben Ziyaad Club
  38. Palestinian Child’s Home Club
  39. Beit Ummar ClubSureif club
  40. Bani Na’eemm club
  41. El-Thahreyyeh Youth Club
  42. Equestrian Athletic Club
  43. Al Ramadeen Club
  44. Susya Club
  45. Ethna Coalition Club
  46. Joret Alshama’a Club
  47. Beit Sahour Womens Club
  48. Al Wadi Al-Akhdar Club
  49. Al-Walajeh Youth Club
  50. Hussan Youth Club
  51. Orthodox Club Bethlehem
  52. Mraah Ma’ala club
  53. Nahaleen Athletic Club
  54. Bethlehem Disabled Persons Sports Club
  55. Islamic Club of Bethlehem
  56. Al E’bdyeh Youth Club
  57. Beit Fujar Club
  58. Battir Club
  59. Al Khader Youth Club
  60. Arab Orthodox Club of Beit Jala
  61. Ebda’ Centre Athletic Club
  62. Dheisheh Youth Athletic Club
  63. Catholic Action Club-Bethlehem
  64. A’ida Youth Centre Club
  65. Al A’za Youth Centre Club
  66. Wadi Al-Neis Club
  67. Al-Doha Youth Club
  68. Salah Al Din Club
  69. Za’tara Youth Club
  70. Wadi Rahal Club

* The 7 Israeli football clubs based in illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory are: Maccabi Ariel (indoor futsal), Ironi Ariel, Beitar Givat Ze’ev Shabi, Beitar Ma’ale Adumim, Hapoel Oranit, Hapoel Bik’at Hayarden, Hapoel Katamon Yerushalaim (primarily located in West Jerusalem but plays some home games in Ma’ale Adumim). See this Human Rights Watch Report.

The letter is also given at: https://bdsmovement.net/news/letter-174-palestinian-sports-clubs-calls-fifa-suspend-israel-football-federation.

The PACBI press release is given at: https://bdsmovement.net/news/over-170-sports-clubs-occupied-west-bank-call-fifa-suspend-israel%E2%80%99s-membership.  The text is as follows:

May 4, 2017 (Ramallah, Occupied Palestine) — In a letter issued today, over 170 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations urged FIFA to immediately suspend the Israeli Football Association’s (IFA) membership for its inclusion of seven football clubs that are  based in illegal settlements.

The letter comes just days before FIFA’s annual Congress where FIFA is scheduled to make a decision on Israel’s settlement-based clubs, which contravene both international law and FIFA’s own statutes.  

Palestinian athletic clubs call on FIFA to “uphold human rights and implement FIFA statutes without discrimination at the upcoming congress on May 11” by immediately suspending IFA’s membership for its inclusion of sports clubs that are based in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The letter cautions that “Palestinian football rights, FIFA’s reputation as champion of human rights” depend on FIFA’s decision in this regard.

Sports clubs from across the occupied West Bank added their name to the letter including the Hilal Al Quds Club, The Beit Sahour Women’s Club, Hebron Youth Club, Orthodox Club in Bethlehem, Bi’lin Club and Dheisheh Youth Athletic Club.

Palestinian clubs recall FIFA’s “historic role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa when it expelled the South African Football Association at its 1976 congress.” They urge FIFA to once again take this “historic opportunity” to show a serious commitment to human rights.   

The letter raises concern over reports that FIFA will give the IFA six months to exclude settlement teams, seeing it as a continuation of FIFA’s delays. “Two years of attempts by the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine to rectify this issue should be proof enough that the status quo should not be extended,” the letter states.

This letter follows an international appeal from over 120 civil society organizations representing millions from across the globe, which called on FIFA to make a decision to exclude Israeli teams based in illegal settlements its congress

 

Be Sociable, Share!