FIFA submits draft report on settler soccer teams

This entity was created by the 2015 FIFA congress to resolve a number of disputes between the Israeli and Palestinian football associations.

March 23, 2017 00:15
1 minute read.
jabril rabouj

President of the Palestinian FA Jibril Rajoub shows a red card as he speaks during the 65th FIFA Congress on May 29, 2015 in Zurich.. (photo credit: AFP/MICHAEL BUHOLZER)


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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine chairman Tokyo Sexwale presented a long awaited draft report in Zurich on Wednesday on a number of disputes between the Israel Football Association and Palestine Football Association, a senior Palestinian soccer official said.

Sexwale delivered the draft report to the monitoring committee, which is made up of himself, a FIFA representative, and IFA and PFA representatives.

The May 2015 FIFA Congress created the monitoring committee to resolve disputes between the two soccer associations.

Susan Shalabi, a Palestinian member of the monitoring committee and PFA vice chairwoman, said that Sexwale presented the draft report which deals with both the issues of six soccer clubs and other disputes.
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The Palestinians are pushing FIFA to drop or order the relocation of the the six teams, arguing that the organization’s by-laws prohibit teams from one country from playing on the territory of another. The settlers clubs are situated, they argue, on territory that will be within the borders of a future Palestinian state.

In contrast, Israel contends that the law is inapplicable as the Palestinians do not have permanent borders, and that such a decision would politicize FIFA. The clubs in question belong to the settlements of Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post by telephone, Shalabi said she is not at liberty to discuss the draft report’s recommendations.

Nonetheless, she stated that both the IFA and PFA will have the opportunity to review the draft report and submit comments on it to Sexwale, adding that the monitoring committee will meet in early May one last time before the FIFA Congress in Bahrain convenes in the same month.

The mandate of the monitoring committee is set to expire upon the arrival of the FIFA Congress.

FIFA has consistently stated its support for a compromise between the two associations on the issue of the settlement clubs.

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