RCIR condemns the FIFA Council’s position which contributes materially to Israel’s continuing war crimes

RCIR condemns the FIFA Council’s position which contributes materially to Israel’s continuing war crimes

The following statement was issued today by Red Card Israeli Racism.  It was transmitted to all thirty five member associations of the FIFA Council and issued as a Media Release.

FIFA Council has today adopted a position with regard to Israel’s illegal settlement-based clubs that is characterised by criminality, cynicism and an abandonment of FIFA’s own stated values. Red Card Israeli Racism abhors its shameful decision.

We are particularly appalled that the Council has taken explicit note of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and yet decided to take no position on its contents. As is well known, Resolution 2334 reaffirmed that Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory constitute “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders”.

The football world needs to understand that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory – of which the settlements are the core – is a dead hand placed upon the development of Palestinian society, including its sporting development. That occupation has been described by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as a regime of racial segregation, i.e. apartheid.

It is incumbent upon all civil associations such as FIFA to adhere to the law, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The position articulated today by FIFA Council flies in the face of those principles and will contribute materially to Israel’s continuing war crimes.

We expect that FIFA will now face legal action, initially through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), because the Council’s decision contravenes FIFA’s own Statutes nos. 3 (on promoting human rights), 4 (on non-discrimination against a country, person or group of people) and 72 (forbidding football to be played on another member’s territory without its permission). By ignoring these, the Council has fallen foul of its most basic ethical requirement: the duty to enforce its own rules impartially.

Red Card Israeli Racism will continue to play our part in the international campaign to bring sanctions to bear upon the Israel Football Association for its collusion in the theft of Palestinian land.

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