Despite FIFA’s ruling rejecting another Palestinian demand to jettison Israel from its ranks, the Palestinians are still pushing for it.
Despite multiples previous failures, the Palestinians have again launched a petition to remove the Israeli Football Association (IFA) from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world’s governing body for soccer.
Late last month, FIFA ruled against a motion submitted by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) requesting official recognition of the PFA’s rights under FIFA bylaws on the grounds that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is a complex political dispute unrelated to football.
Such a move would have Israeli teams based in Judea and Samaria declared teams originating from “occupied territory” and would require the IFA to expel them or face a penalty itself.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino tried to resolve the issue through talks, but finally stated that “we see there where our limits unfortunately are,” noting, perhaps hyperbolically, that disputes in the region date back “10,000 years.”
“Football is not going to solve them either, I am afraid,” Infantino said.
Council members decided that “interference by FIFA in the (soccer) status quo in these territories … could have an aggravating effect on the current circumstances.”
The Palestinians are now challenging this ruling, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will hear their complaint at the end of the month.
This is not the first time Arab entities have tried and failed to undermine Israel through FIFA.
The Palestinians have utilized FIFA several times over the past year as a platform for attacking Israel.
The PFA is headed by Jibril Rajoub, who served time in an Israeli prison for terrorism. Rajoub is the driving forces behind the Palestinian battle against Israel in the world of sports.
“Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” Rajoub stated in 2014.
In 2012, slamming the idea of organized sports activities with Israelis, Rajoub stated on PA TV that he would bring Arabs by helicopter to events instead of crossing through Israel, “so they will see no Jews, no Satans, no Zionist sons of bitches.”