Letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the Israel-Palestine Task Force

26 September 2013

 Dear Mr Blatter


We note with interest your initiative in establishing the Task Force Israel Palestine, aiming to improve the situation of football in Palestine by facilitating movements of people and goods into, out of and within Palestine. We welcome this high profile acknowledgement of the severe restrictions on Palestinian football.

The restrictions imposed by the Israeli military blight the lives not only of footballers but of the entire Palestinian population in the territories that Israel illegally occupies.  They form part of a wider policy of racist repression on the part of Israeli authorities against all Palestinians.

As you are aware, Palestinian FA president Jibril Rajoub has expressed misgivings about the good faith of the Israeli authorities. We ask you to note also the response of Mahmoud Sarsak, a member of the Palestinian national squad until he was detained in 2009 and held for three years without charge.  Sarsak welcomed your commitment to promoting freedom of travel so that Palestinian players can train and play, “to demonstrate our excellence on an equal playing field.”  But he said this could not happen as long as the population lives in fear “of bombing, drone attacks, detention and even death.”

We urge you to make members of the task force aware that in working towards justice for Palestinian footballers they must acknowledge the context of injustice suffered by the entire Palestinian people.  For any new procedures to be acceptable they must apply to all Palestinians.

Yours sincerely,

Red Card Israeli Racism Campaign

cc FIFA Executive Committee members:

Senior   Vice President
Julio H. GRONDONA Argentina
Vice Presidents
Issa HAYATOU Cameroon
Ángel María VILLAR LLONA Spain
Michel PLATINI France
David CHUNG Papua New Guinea
H.R.H Prince Ali BIN AL HUSSEIN Jordan
Jim BOYCE Northern Ireland
Jeffrey WEBB Cayman    Islands
Michel D’HOOGHE Belgium
Senes ERZIK Turkey
Worawi MAKUDI Thailand
Marios LEFKARITIS Cyprus
Jacques ANOUMA Côte d’Ivoire
Rafael SALGUERO Guatemala
Hany ABO RIDA Egypt
Vitaly MUTKO Russia
Mohamed RAOURAOUA Algeria
Theo ZWANZIGER Germany
Marco Polo DEL NERO Brazil
Eugenio FIGUEREDO Uruguay
Shk. Salman Bin Ebrahim AL   KHALIFA Bahrain
ZHANG Jilong China PR
Lydia NSEKERA Burundi
Secretary General
Jerome VALCKE France

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