Israelis, Palestinians await resolution at May’s FIFA Congress

The participation of Israel’s representatives in the conference is still under doubt as the Shin Bet.

March 24, 2017 00:09
1 minute read.

Jibril Rajoub (left), president of the Palestinian Football Association, Tokyo Sexwale (center), chairman of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine and Israel Football Association president Ofer Eini shake hands following a news conference in Jericho in December 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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 analysis 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


The dispute between the Israeli and Palestinian football associations is set to reach its culmination at the FIFA Congress in Bahrain on May 11.

However, the participation of Israel’s representatives in the conference is still under doubt as the Shin Bet (The Israel Security Agency) has yet to approve their trip to the Persian Gulf.

The congress was initially supposed to take place in Kuala Lumpur, but was moved as Malaysia wouldn’t guarantee it would issue visas to Israeli delegates as well as display the Israeli flag during the congress.

FIFA’s Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine is still working towards reaching an agreement between the parties ahead of the congress.

Committee chairman Tokyo Sexwale presented a long awaited draft report in Zurich on Wednesday.

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

Wednesday’s meeting was stormy, with IFA chairman Ofer Eini being angered by Sexwale’s proposals.

The Palestinians are pushing FIFA to drop or order the relocation of six IFA teams, arguing that the organization’s by-laws prohibit teams from one country from playing on the territory of another.

The 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 Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Oranit and Tomer.

FIFA said in a statement that Sexwale’s monitoring committee presented a “draft final report containing specific recommendations” without providing any details, adding that the various parties will meet again before he submits his final report to the congress in May.

According to AFP, Sexwale presented three possible options – to retain the status quo “with the legal risks arising therefrom”; allow the Israeli association six months “to rectify the situation of the six clubs in question”; or to request new negotiations between the two sides.

The FIFA Monitoring Committee was set up by the 65th FIFA Congress in May 2015 following a compromise reached with the Palestinian Football Association, which was seeking to suspend Israel.

Related Content

Leonardo DiCaprio
June 17, 2019
Leonardo DiCaprio to testify in favor of Bar Refaeli?


Cookie Settings