The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Tuesday strongly condemned Israeli government pressure on FIFA to remove, from its agenda, a Palestinian bill describing the pressure as blatant and unprecedented.
Husam Arafat, secretary-general of the PLOâ€™s Youth and Sports Department, slammed in a statement Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s telephone call to FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, to pressure him to remove from the FIFA congress agenda a Palestinian request for censoring six Israel football teams playing in illegal settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Describing the Israeli intervention as â€śa blatant and unprecedented interferenceâ€ť in FIFA affairs, Arafat called on Infantino not to allow this interference from affecting implementation of FIFA rules and regulations.
According to WAFA, Palestinians have been calling on FIFA and its member states since 2015 to require Israelâ€™s national league to exclude teams from West Bank settlements or face suspension from the worldâ€™s football governing body.
Palestinian Football Association president, Jibril Rjoub, told Voice of Palestine, on Tuesday, that the Palestinian bid for ousting or suspending the Israeli football league is in conformity with FIFAâ€™s statutes.
He reaffirmed the Palestiniansâ€™ right to suspend all sports activities of Israeli settlements inside the West Bank for violating FIFA rules bans members from playing in occupied land without the permission of the local authorities.
The FIFA congress convenes in Bahrain on Wednesday and the Palestinian bid is on its agenda.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.