General Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestine Football Association (PFA), met with FIFA authorities in order to find a solution for the protection of Palestinian football rights and the development of football in Palestine in accordance with the FIFA Statutes. Also in the meeting were representatives from the Arab Group.
“It has always been our spirit to find a solution within the FIFA statutes rather than from without – we are not asking for anything outside of FIFA’s,” Gen. Rajoub said after the meeting. “We don’t play politics, we play football, and it’s clear instead of defending the FIFA values and regulations, the Israeli Football Association has opted to play politics and become a tool for the political program of colonization and Apartheid.”
The Arab and Palestinian contingent presented a unanimous position on certain key issues. Specifically, the right of Palestinian football players to the freedom of movement, the necessity of strict observation and adherence to FIFA’s zero tolerance position on racism and discrimination within football, and that the five Israeli teams in illegal Israeli colonies in the State of Palestine, must be banned, as they are in direct violation of international law.