Fifa to consider Palestinian call to tackle Israel

Fifa’s annual Congress will discuss a proposal from the Palestinian FA (PFA) for the suspension of Israel.

Palestine has complained that Israel has continued to hamper its football activities, saying Israel imposes restrictions on the movement of their athletes between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The PFA has also cited curbs Israel places on the import into Palestinian territories of sports equipment and on visits by foreign teams and individuals.

Fifa’s Congress takes place in Zurich on May 29.

Two years ago, Fifa established a task force which included president Sepp Blatter, the Israeli and Palestinian football chiefs and the heads of the European and Asian football confederations to examine the Palestinian complaints and to try and resolve them.

Blatter said at the time that he was determined to resolve the impasse.

However, on Friday PFA president Jibril Rajoub told Reuters that nothing had improved and reiterated his claim that Israel was “were persecuting Palestine footballers, athletes and the movement of sporting equipment”.

Rajoub agreed to drop a similar resolution at last year’s Congress in Sao Paulo but he said he would not back down this time. It will need a three-quarter majority of Fifa’s 209 members for Palestine’s proposal to succeed.

Israel, whose federation is a member of Uefa, cites security concerns in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exercises limited self rule, and along the border with the Gaza Strip. But it says it has eased travel for Palestinian athletes between the territories, which requires passage via Israel.


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