RCIR Press Release challenging some of Blatter’s misleading assertions

RCIR Press Release challenging some of Blatter’s misleading assertions
  • There will be conflict at FIFA’s Annual Congress on 10-11 June over how to support Palestinian football and what sanctions to take against the Israel Football Association (IFA) .
  • Our petition to suspend the IFA has over 12,000 signatures at the latest count.
  • Blatter’s recent assertions have been misleading.

Annual Congress.  The FIFA established “Israel Palestine Task Force” should present its conclusions on facilitating the movement of persons and goods for football purposes in and out of and within Palestine at the Congress.  Progress over the last nine months seems to have been negligible.  If nothing improves Palestinian FA president Jibril Rajoub intends to call for sanctions such as suspension of the Israeli FA.

Our Petition.  This was presented to FIFA in Zurich on 4 June 2014.  It  calls on FIFA “to suspend membership of the Israeli Football Association until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law, thus enabling Palestinian footballers to play and compete nationally and internationally” . It will remain on-line until its objective is achieved.

Why suspension?  Uzi Dann, international sports editor of Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz said on 18 April 2014 “From my experience, only threats and pressure will force the Israeli government to take action”.

Sepp Blatter’s misleading assertions.  On a recent visit to the Middle East he has said:

  • I separate politics and sport“.  Blatter may, but Israelis certainly don’t.  Since the 1920s sport has been used politically by Zionists and Israel. Recently Mordechai Spiegler said recently that holding a UEFA tournament will make Israel a “normal sports country“. Palestinian footballers suffer harassment, pitch closure, movement restrictions, arbitrary detention, and violence resulting in injury and even death under the control of a “normal sports country“.  Are Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing and collective punishment and an unaccountable military “normal“?  Can Israel be allowed to continue to camouflage its racism through football?
  • ” we haven’t seen any breach of regulations [by the IFA]”.  Wrong.  The IFA is a state institution controlled by the State Comptroller and financed largely by the State.  So the IFA is complicit in all the State’s racist actions against Palestinians and therefore breaches FIFA Statute number 3.
  • “[The IFA is a good standing member [of FIFA]”.  That is not so.  The IFA has done almost nothing to counter the appalling racism of the Beitar fans, and indeed recently approved a change of management that led to the departure of more progressive management and Muslim players.  Also it has done nothing material to help the Palestinian FA.

Other general information can be obtained from:

For Palestine Soccer, Even Coming Home Is No Given – NYTimes.com


Specific details on Racist incidents against Palestinian Footballers are given at:

Israeli Occupation Transgressions against Palestinian SportsIncidents | Red Card Israeli Racism



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