‘Immediately Sanction Israeli Teams’ – Palestinians Urge FIFA

Palestinians urged FIFA to sanction Israeli teams. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The proposal “calls for immediate sanctions against Israeli teams over unprecedented violations of human rights committed by the Israeli occupation in Palestine.”

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has called on the international football governing body, FIFA, to implement sanctions against Israel over its ongoing genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Tuesday, the PFA said it submitted a proposal, supported by six member associations, to FIFA to discuss Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians during the FIFA Congress scheduled to take place on May 17 in Thailand.

The proposal “calls for immediate sanctions against Israeli teams over unprecedented violations of human rights committed by the Israeli occupation in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip,” the PFA said.

‘Political Bias and Hypocrisy’ – Rights Groups Pressure FIFA to suspend Israel

“The Israeli Football Association is complicit in the violations of the Israeli government against Palestinian football, as it provides moral support for the occupation government’s actions and justifies its violations,” the football association stated.

“This constitutes a clear violation of FIFA’s laws and regulations, which obligate member associations to manage their affairs independently and without influence from a third party,” the PFA added.

The association said “at least 99 football players” have been killed since October 7, in addition to the “unprecedented destruction” of infrastructure such as “football facilities.”

The PFA called on “Congress to take effective steps by implementing FIFA laws and regulations to address these aforementioned violations without further delay, indicating that failure to do so would set an unwelcome precedent, and make it a violation of FIFA’s laws and obligations.”

Rights Groups

The call by the PFA comes as up to 60 rights groups have accused FIFA of applying “a different yardstick to Israeli actions” which undermines its credibility and exposes the world football body “to allegations of political bias and hypocrisy.”

In a letter to FIFA last week the groups demanded “the immediate suspension of Israeli football teams from all competitions in light of its ongoing genocide” in the Gaza Strip.

The organizations urged FIFA to do “the right thing and apply the same sanctions to Israel that you have done in the case of Russia.”

In February, a group of twelve Middle Eastern football associations, which constitute the West Asian Football Federations (WAFF), urged FIFA to ban Israel from global participation in the sport.

The group reportedly called upon FIFA, the Football Confederations, and Member Associations to join in “a united front in isolating the Israeli Football Association from all football-related activities until these (Israel’s) acts of aggression cease.”

The Israeli Football Association criticized the call as “a cynical and shameless move by a few associations.”

‘Legend of Khan Yunis’ Killed

Earlier this month, Palestinian footballer Mohammed Barakat, 39, was killed after the Israeli occupation forces bombed his home in Khan Yunis.

Barakat, known as the ‘Legend of Khan Yunis’ was one of the top scorers and the first player in Gaza to score 100 goals for one team.

He represented the Palestinian national team and Al-Ahli Gaza football club in the local league.

‘Legend of Khan Yunis’ – Israel Kills Top Gaza, Arab Footballer

In January, Hani al-Masdar, known in the Palestinian sports community as Abu al-Abed, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City. He was the coach of the Palestinian Olympic football team.

At the time, the Palestinian Association said more than “1,000 members of the youth, sports and scouting movement” were killed so far in the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza, which started on October 7.

The head of the Association accused Israel of “targeting sports facilities and the headquarters of the Palestinian sports and clubs.”

Apartheid South Africa

FIFA is the international governing body for football and seeks to develop the game around the world. But the organization also aims to “embrace its responsibility to respect human rights across its operations and relationships,” according to its website.

Palestine Olympic Football Team Coach Killed by Israel in Gaza – Over 1,000 Athletes Killed so far

It “is committed to respecting all internationally recognized human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.”

FIFA suspended the South African FA from international competition in 1965 and expelled it from the association in 1976, due to its policy of apartheid. The country returned to the world stage after 16 years.

Close to 32,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,988 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,188 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Gaza Genocide – Civilians Under Siege, International Intervention Needed

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle)


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1 Comment

  1. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. FIFA should expel Israel now as what it did to South Africa in 1965 and lately Russia. There should be no double or triple standards here.

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