UEFA president Michel Platini.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Football Association received a boost in its counter-campaign against the Palestinian bid to suspend the IFA from FIFA on Monday, with UEFA President Michel Platini promising to do all in his power to support local soccer.
IFA chairman Ofer Eini, CEO Rotem Kemer and legal advisor Efraim Barak met with Platini and UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday to discuss the Palestinian proposal, which is set to be on the agenda at the FIFA Congress in Zurich next month.
According to the IFA, Platini told Eini that UEFA will do whatever it can to aid Israel and that if the matter is brought to the vote at the FIFA Congress, UEFA will stand by Israel.
“Platini stressed that Israel is an inseparable part of UEFA and is an equal member that is welcome in the UEFA family,” an IFA statement read.
Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub has long been calling for sanctions against Israel, claiming they are required due to the travel restrictions imposed by Israeli security forces on players and officials.
Elsewhere, Maccabi Haifa missed an opportunity to climb up to fourth place in the Premier League standings on Monday, drawing 0-0 at Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Haifa would have leapfrogged Beiter Jerusalem with a win, but failed to find the back of the net against the plucky hosts and had to settle for a goalless deadlock.
A fourth-place finish will be sufficient to qualify for the Europa League next season should Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beersheba end the campaign in the top three as expected and either of the teams goes on to win the State Cup.
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beersheba will be in action in the cup semifinals next week and are firm favorites to book a meeting in the final, with both sides facing opponents from the National League at Teddy Stadium.