FIFA Double Standards: Suspend Apartheid Israel, don’t Sanction Indonesia
Take one minute to write to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and President Gianni Infantino. Let him know that sanctions on Indonesia are misplaced. It is Israel that needs to be sanctioned by FIFA.
On March 29, 2023, FIFA President Gianni Infantino removed Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023™. FIFA indicated potential sanctions against the PSSI (Football Association of Indonesia) may also be decided at a later stage. The U-20 World Cup with 24 teams was scheduled to be held from May 20 to June 11 in six Indonesian cities.
The following evening, March 30, the football teams of Balata and Jabal Al-Mukabber were playing the finals of the Yasser Arafat Cup at the Faisal Husseini International Stadium in Al Ram, Jerusalem. Around 2000 people were in the stadium including foreign diplomats, the president of the PFA (Palestinian Football Association), media and fans who came from Nablus, Ramallah and Jerusalem to watch the match.
Around 22:00 two armoured vehicles of the Israeli Occupation Forces arrived at the entrance of the PFA, on the sides of the stadium, and without any provocations started to shoot tear gas canisters and rubber encased metal bullets towards the field and the stands. Dozens of fans were affected, including children, with the match having to be suspended for an hour until the medics were able to treat the affected and clear the field of our main national stadium.
At the end of the match the Israeli force returned and resumed its tear gas barrage on the stadium, which affected the players, referees, and the PFA officials who had remained in the stadium.
On April 5, 2023, Khader Erab, the Goalkeeper of Hilal Al Quds youth team was shot and injured by an Israeli settler in East Jerusalem.
The PFA consistent reporting over the years the violations by Israel to FIFA, the AFC, the other Confederations and other international organizations have shown in detail how the practice of sports continues being affected by the policies and practices of the Israeli occupation. To date there has not been a single act of accountability against Israel for conducting such attacks and how it affects the ability of Palestine to fulfill its obligations as a FIFA member to compete in both national and international competitions.
FIFA has been provided with detailed information about the football clubs in illegal colonial-settlements in the occupied territory of Palestine, which the Israeli Football Association (IFA) illegally allows to play in its league and benefit from FIFA development funds in a blatant violation to FIFA’s own statutes. Regrettably, FIFA took no action. A similar situation has taken place with regards to the documented cases of racism that still exist in the context of Israeli football competitions and that remain being dealt with impunity.
While Palestinian stadiums, players and fans are attacked, Israeli settlers continued to enjoy the practice of football on stolen lands in the illegal colonial settlements nearby, including “Ma’ale Adumin” and “Pisgat Ze’ev”, to name two of them. There is impunity in all levels, including FIFA statutes, the basic principles of the UN Charter as well as of the Olympic Charter.
Join in reiterating the call for international protection and an end to impunity.
Read the full statement April 4, 2023, from the Palestinian Football Association.
Read the letter sent to FIFA by 80 organizations and hundreds of individuals in 2022.
Join the world-wide #KickOutApartheid call.
It’s time to score a goal for Palestine!
Israel has violated the principles of FIFA in a variety of ways that would normally warrant disciplinary actions and even a suspension of its membership. However, the politics of FIFA have prevented the organization in the past from taking such action. Its internal by-laws have even been amended to make it more difficult for the Palestine Football Association (PFA) to demand such action. Consequently, it is now the responsibility of civil society to apply the popular pressure necessary to bring this about.
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