FIFA is turning a blind eye to Israel’s ban on allowing Palestinians to hold matches as part of the Palestine Cup, Euro-Mediterranean Human Right Monitor said yesterday.
In a statement, the rights group said that the Israeli authorities continue to ban 30 players from the Rafah Team in Gaza to play the final match of the Palestine Cup against the Balata Youth Team in occupied West Bank city of Nablus. This, it continued, is a violation of international law and of the FIFA principles which stress “the right to play”.
Ramzy Baroud says: Israeli teams must not be allowed in competitions while continuing its racist regimehttps://t.co/keGT2MGZM8
— Abrar Khan (@khanabrar643) August 20, 2019
The two teams played the home leg on June 30 in Rafah and the return leg was planned to take place in July.
According to the Euro-Med, the Israeli occupation prevents footballers from Gaza traveling to the West Bank over security claims, stressing that this is “merely a political cover for the [Israeli] collective punishment practiced against the Gaza Strip.”
Israel is blocking the Palestine Football Cup because it won't allow the winning Gaza League team from travel to the occupied West Bank for the finals. @EuroMedHR denounces @FIFAcom for ignoring Israel's violations of international law and FIFA statues. https://t.co/TUbapWfhm9 pic.twitter.com/gN4ml3IhPf
— PACBI (@PACBI) August 22, 2019
Palestinians hold a series of matches every year and teams from Gaza and West Bank play against each other in both areas of the occupied Palestinian territories until they reach the final of the Palestine Cup, which is recognized by FIFA.
Euro-Med reported that Israeli restrictions on Palestinian athletes “have been increasing”, with occupation forces stopping the bodybuilding and volleyball teams from taking part in international tournaments.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)