Jacob Erel, the Israeli official who once headed UEFA’s Operations Committee, is still one of the most well-versed and knowledgeable people who can explain the complex legal conundrum that will be decided on Friday when FIFA’s Congress votes whether to suspend Israel.
“The danger of Israel being expelled certainly exists, particularly because this has nothing to do with athletics and everything to do with politics,” Erel told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv Hashavua. “[Palestinian Football Association chief] Jibril Rajoub wants to make noise, and there is no more prominent place to do it than the FIFA Congress. I assume he also has personal reasons.”
A vast majority of the 54 European members are likely to vote against the proposal, meaning it is likely the Palestinian proposal will be defeated, as 75 percent – 157 members – of the 209-member body are needed for it to pass.