The following letter has been sent to home nation FAs’ chairmen and also to David Gill, a UEFA representative on the FIFA Council. Amidst the chaos around publication of the Sexwale report we urge that the FIFA Congress acts on the Palestinian motion that has been tabled.
FAIR PLAY FOR PALESTINE
Action at the 67th FIFA Congress on 10-11 May 2017
On the 19th April 2017 the Palestine Action for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent you a letter outlining the problems that the Palestinian FA faces in fighting for its rights.
Our letter asks you to offer your support on behalf of English footballers and fans to the Palestinian FA during the debate on Agenda Item 14.3:
“Request for official recognition of the Palestinian Football Association’s entitlements to all of its rights as described in the FIFA Statutes (proposed by the Palestinian Football Association)”
Prime amongst these rights is the right to determine whether or not a foreign club can play on its territory (Statute 72.2). Not only do Israeli settlement clubs play on stolen Palestinian land – in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank – they also participate in Israeli leagues without the agreement of the Palestinian FA. This means that both the clubs and the Israeli FA are directly flouting FIFA’s statutes.
The Israel Palestine Monitoring Committee, chaired by Mr Tokyo Sexwale, is due to present its recommendations on the settlement club issue, and other issues, to the 67th Congress. His (leaked) draft report apparently recommends that the Israeli FA be suspended from FIFA if it does not comply. However, the published agenda reveals there is no item to permit discussion of Sexwale’s report and to decide on action by FIFA. This suggests that the only way forward is through Agenda Item 14.3.
The Palestinian FA’s President has previously suggested that FIFA follow the “Crimean” precedent whereby the settlement clubs would set up their own league and not play in any Israeli league, thereby allowing the clubs to continue playing football while freeing the Israeli FA from contravening FIFA Statutes. This seems a practical solution and we commend it to you. If FIFA cannot resolve the matter then the Palestinian FA has said that it will apply to the Court of Arbitration in Sport for a solution.
Further information is given on our website: www.rcir.org.uk