Palestinians want Crimea-style solution in soccer dispute with Israel

After Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014, UEFA banned Crimean clubs from moving to the Russian league and instead authorized them to set up their own competition.

By REUTERS
November 2, 2016 11:49
1 minute read.
ariel soccer

Match between Ariel Municipal Soccer Club and Maccabi HaSharon Netanya at Ariel Municipal Soccer Club's training grounds in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) wants FIFA to adopt what he called a Crimea-style solution to prevent Israeli league clubs from being based in settlements in the West Bank, he said on Tuesday.

After Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014, European soccer body UEFA banned Crimean clubs from moving to the Russian league and instead authorized them to set up their own competition.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


PFA president Jibril Rajoub, speaking after a meeting of FIFA's Israel-Palestine Monitoring Committee, said a similar solution - whereby Israeli clubs based in settlements would be prevented from playing in the Israeli league but have their own competition - could work.

"Crimea is a good model and we believe that UEFA can play a good role," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Israel is a member of UEFA, which was an observer at the meeting, while the Palestinians play in the Asian Football Confederation.

At present, five Israeli clubs based in West Bank settlements play in the lower divisions of the Israeli league.

All are minor, non-professional outfits from the West Bank settlements of Ma'aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Zeev and Bikat Hayarden (Jordan Valley).

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Rajoub described Tuesday's meeting as "long, arduous and intensive" and said he expected FIFA to reach a decision at the next FIFA Council meeting in January. "We will accept no compromise," he said.

The Israeli FA and FIFA could not immediately be reached for comment.

The committee led by South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale convened for the first time a year ago.

It was set up following a heated exchange at the FIFA Congress in May 2015, when the PFA was persuaded to drop its proposal for a ban of Israel.

Rajoub said restrictions on the movement of players between the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip continued to be an issue.

"The situation is going from bad to worse, nothing is changing," he said.

Israel cites security concerns for the restrictions, and the Israeli FA has argued that it has no control over such matters, which fall under the jurisdiction of the security authorities.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks in Ramallah
September 18, 2018
PA to pay family of Fuld’s murderer NIS 1,400 a month for 3 years

By GIL HOFFMAN