In the face of severe Israeli pressure the Palestinian FA is holding firm on its proposal for the Israeli FA to be suspended from FIFA until guarantees are provided that:

  • the authority of the PFA as the sole body responsible for football in the Palestinian territories (including Jerusalem) will be respected
  • free movement of players, staff, officials and their equipment within, into and out of those territories will proceed without restriction
  • free development of football infrastructure and facilities will proceed without restriction
  • clubs from illegal West Bank settlements operating without PFA authorisation will be banned from participation in IFA competitions
  • the IFA will take serious steps within its own areas of jurisdiction to remedy its breaches of FIFA anti-discrimination rules

FIFA’s annual Congress is being held on 28th-29th May in Zürich.  The PFA properly submitted its motion over two months ago.  RCIR activists and many others across Europe have been actively campaigning for suspension or expulsion for well over a year.  The website gives other details.

FIFA’s president Blatter has publicly stated that he wants to see the PFA motion withdrawn and has called meetings to try and make this happen.  IFA top brass and lawyers have descended twice on FIFA and UEFA in the past month, with spurious arguments to achieve the same aim.  FIFA even excluded the text of the proposal from the conference papers – although it has promised verbally to rectify the omission.  Curiously, the proposal is not included under agenda item 4, suspension and expulsion of a member, but is included under agenda item 15, “discussion of proposals submitted by members”.  It is formally acceptable for the PFA motion to be included here and it should be put to the vote.  But what back stage manipulations are going on to avoid that we can only imagine.

PSC members can make a personal impact – and numbers do count – by emailing FIFA President Sepp Blatter at president@fifa.org and/or tweeting him at https://twitter.com/SeppBlatter to insist that the motion be discussed and voted on. You are also very welcome to join demonstrators for Palestinian football in Zürich – we expect at least 200 activists and a lively UK contingent to be present. Permission has been granted for major demonstrations outside the FIFA Congress on 29th from 9-11.30 am and 3-5.30 pm, and leafleting is also planned on 28th around a UEFA meeting and the FIFA opening ceremony.