Israel fears FIFA suspension of soccer teams from illegal settlements


Israel has fears that FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, may decide in its upcoming congress to be held next year to suspend six soccer teams from Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Haaretz newspaper said Wednesday.

The concern in Israel is that a FIFA council meeting in mid-October intends to discuss the suspension of Israeli teams at the organization’s congress next May.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli foreign ministry has embarked on taking quiet diplomatic steps with a number of countries in order to fend off such a decision.

Recently, Human Rights Watch released a report stating that the activity of the settlement teams in the Israeli league broke FIFA rules and its commitment to human rights. Members of the European Parliament had also called on FIFA in early September to act against Israeli clubs based in West Bank settlements and prevent them from participating in official play.

66 members of the 751-member European Parliament signed a letter addressed to FIFA president Gianni Infantino urging action at next month’s FIFA Council meeting.


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