Israeli news sources are reporting that Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub is submitting an amendment to the Palestinian Football Association’s proposal to ban Israel from FIFA, minutes ahead of the vote itself.
Rajoub stated that he wants to find a ‘responsible solution’ to the issue, a statement allegedly received with relief by FIFA president Joseph Blatter.
The Palestinian’s decision to withdraw the request for Israel’s expulsion from FIFA came after the formation of an international committee for the protection of Palestinian sports.
The General Assembly of FIFA was to have voted by 4pm today to decide on the Palestinian Union’s call to expel Israel from the FIFA family due to the illegal practices of the Israeli state in occupied Palestine. Palestine has been a member of FIFA since 1998 and wanted Israel’s membership revoked due to its restriction of the movement of Palestinian players. According to The Times of Israel, Palestine also opposes the participation of five clubs based in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law.
Haaretz earlier today reported the president of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu, as saying that FIFA would be destroyed by the expulsion of Israel. He reportedly stated that ‘sport is a vehicle of goodwill among nations. The thing that could destroy the Football Association is politicizing it. You politicize it once with Israel, then you politicize it for everyone, and it will cause the deterioration of a great institution’.
Netanyahu also argued that Israel helps Palestinian football, and would continue to do its best to improve the situation in light of any research.
Palestinian human rights organisation Thursday sent a letter to the president of the International Football Association supporting the proposal from the Palestinian Union to revoke Israel’s membership to FIFA, citing Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players.
FIFA management today evacuated the Alviva congress hall, as it was hosting the first stage of the FIFA elections, due to the alleged presence of a ‘suspicious object’, Israeli news sources reported today.
Security escorted two pro-Palestinian protesters from the hall after they interrupted proceedings by waving the Palestinian flag and chanting ‘out, Israel’ to demand the expulsion of Israel from FIFA.