Palestinian anger after Fifa backs away from punishing Israel

Fifa commission proposes maintaining status quo in Israel and territories


The Palestinians are unhappy at the lack of action from Fifa, world football’s governing body, over Israeli clubs playing in the West Bank.

Jibril Rajoub, the head of Palestinian football, urged that Israel be suspended, claiming that allowing settlement teams to play in the Palestinian territories contravened Fifa regulations, according to the Times of Israel.

A Fifa commission chaired by Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa presented three options to Palestinian and Israeli representatives at what was said to be a “stormy meeting” at the Palestinian town of Al-Ram last month.

The first proposed maintaining the status quo, the second stated Fifa’s opposition to any national federation arranging games on another’s territory without agreement of the relevant federation, while the third urged the two parties to find a compromise.

But Mr Rajoub was quoted as saying he would “prefer we go right away to sanction and to suspension”.

Last October Ofer Eini, Israeli football chairman, expressed concern the Palestinian campaign would lead to Israel’s suspension from international competition.

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