A small victory for Israel today, with the FIFA congress voting to postpone until October a motion brought by the the Palestine Football Association “to stop all football and football related activity run by the Israeli federation in Palestine’s internationally recognised territories.”
FIFA’s congress voted Thursday to accept Gianni Infantino’s proposal and decided not to hold a vote on a Palestinian proposal against Israeli soccer teams based in the West Bank.
President Infantino’s proposal passed with 73 percent of the member FIFA nations’ support, with 27 percent voting against, during a congress meeting in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.
On Tuesday, the council of FIFA decided to remove the draft resolution on soccer teams from Israeli settlements from the agenda of its congress.
Tuesday’s decision was reached by the organization’s council, which convened in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, ahead of the FIFA Congress that opened on Wednesday. In an official statement, FIFA said that following a discussion of the matter, the FIFA council decided that it would be too early for the congress to make a decision on the issue at this stage.
The Palestinians have been pressuring FIFA and its member states since 2015 to take action against Israel over the settlement teams. The Palestinian say these teams violate Article 72.2 of the FIFA Statutes, which says, “Member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter’s approval.” They therefore demand that Israel shut the settlement teams down, and if not, they say, Israel should be suspended from FIFA.
The FIFA council decision follows a campaign of heavy pressure exerted by Israel in recent weeks on Infantino and the heads of soccer organizations across the world.
The decision is a blow for Rajoub, who has been working to have the draft resolution put for the FIFA Congress vote for months.
You can view the palestinian rep Jibril Rajoub’s address to the FIFA congress, followed by Israeli rep Ofer Eini here.
If you manage to get through it, you will notice Rajoub gets extremely agitated. And Ofer Eini makes some good points, but it is a shame he addresses the congress in Hebrew instead of English.
It would also be great if he could show this, so they can laugh Rajoub out of there: