Several dozen international lawyers are calling on the world soccer body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), to investigate what they call “egregious” violations by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA).
In a letter to the chair of the FIFA Monitoring Committee for Israel and Palestine, the Lawfare Project, a nonprofit legal organization, along with dozens of international lawyers, sought to draw attention to violations of FIFA statues by the Palestinian Football Association.
“If FIFA officials plan to take action against the Israeli clubs in disputed territories, they must also be prepared to acknowledge and punish the Palestinian Football Association for these brazen violations of FIFA codes,” the letter stated. “FIFA must protect itself and all institutions of international sport from being politicized and dishonored in Palestinian attempts to ostracize the Jewish state.”
The FIFA violations cited include: the PFA punishing Palestinians who participate in soccer games with Israelis, PFA officials regularly denigrating Israel and Israelis, the promotion and glorification of terrorism by Palestinian soccer clubs, and the use of the PFA to promote a political agenda and to politicize FIFA.
In 2015, the Palestinian soccer body attempted to have Israel suspended from FIFA over its restrictions on travel for Palestinian players. More recently, the Palestinians have been waging a campaign to force the Israel Football Association to drop six of its teams located in the disputed territories.