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.
The New Arab shared on September 26:
Activists on social media say that Arab teams taking part in the 2022 World Cup should be able to show support for the Palestinian cause, in a similar way to European teams expressing solidarity with other causes.
It is exciting that an “arab” country will for the first time host the World Cup, however, the apartheid practices of FIFA and it federations takes away from that excitement.
On September 14 Al Jazeera published an article by Maram Humaid, How the Qatar World Cup will highlight Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
On May 28, 2022, Just Peace Advocates with Friends of Sabeel North America launched
FIFA: Suspend Apartheid Israel
This included a webinar with
Roger Waters, musician & activist
Gonzalo Boye, former head of the legal unit of the Palestinian Football Association
Jonathan Kuttab, cofounder of Al-Haq & Exec Director of FOSNA
Rizek Salah the honorary head of the Khader Football Club
So with 50 days and counting down left to the World Cup, what plans do you have to speak out in solidarity with Palestine.
Stay tune for more actions.
Over 70 organizations from around the world supported this call that:
A) The Israeli Football League (IFL) allows players, and even five clubs from the illegal Israeli settlements (legally under the jurisdiction of Palestine), to play in their national league without first obtaining permission from the Palestinian Football Association (PFA). This is a straightforward violation of FIFA regulations that must be addressed.
B) Israel, by means of its military administration and control of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, has taken a number of measures that harm the sport of football including:
- International travel restrictions on Palestinian players and coaches
- Restricting the movement of football players between Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem
- Refusal to allow the building of stadiums and facilities in Area C of the West Bank, the only viable location for such facilities
- Failing to release Palestinian sports equipment from Israeli customs, as Israel controls all borders
- Administrative arrests of footballers and attacks upon, including the tear-gassing of, sports events
C) Finally, we object to the prevalence of blatantly racist sloganeering (“Death to Arabs”) and anti-Arab violence associated with IFL games. This runs counter to FIFA’s stated goal of confronting racism.
And to make the simple demand:
FIFA must suspend the Israeli Football League until the above objections have been resolved.
Almost 100 organizations and more than 700 individual signed a letter that went to President Infantino and Secretary General Samoura concerning a serious breach of FIFA’s own statutes as they relate to human rights, anti-discrimination, and equality for the promotion of football in a globally accessible and unifying manner. See the letter HERE.
Hundreds wrote their own individual letter as well.
Read more about the campaign
View webinar in English, Arabic, and Spanish on our YouTube Channel.
FIFA did not respond.
UEFA must take action: Stop the double standard, kick out apartheid
On Friday, July 15th the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld those decisions by UEFA and FIFA which exclude Russian national teams and clubs.
Following this 1400 people wrote to UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin concerning the double standard taken by UEFA in regard to Russia and Israel.
This included indicating that beyond the regular games, teams in France, Italy, the UK, Spain and other member associations of the UEFA continue to accept sports washing invitations by Israel.
· the Tournament of Champions where Paris Saint-Germain, champion of France 2022, and FC Nantes, winner of the Coupe de France 2022, is scheduled for Sunday July 31, at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv
· Juventus – Atletico Madrid on 7th August at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel/ This game was cancelled citing “security concerns” due to Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
UEFA Kick Out Apartheid was initiated by:
Kick Out Apartheid. See list of sponsoring organizations
Watch webinar and learn more about FIFA Kick Out Apartheid
However, the UEFA remained silent.
The international community says: URUGUAY, NO VAYAS!
30+ organizations from around the world–US, Canada, Europe, UK, Africa, Palestine and elsewhere say “Uruguay Don’t Go.” Just Peace Advocates coordinated this reach out.
On May 30, 2022, solidarity groups in Uruguay launched the campaign URUGUAY, NO VAYAS! (URUGUAY, DON’T GO!) to ask the AUF (Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol — AUF, or Uruguayan Football Association)and the Uruguay men’s soccer team to NOT to accept the invitation from the State of Israel to carry out the final phase of preparation for the World Cup in that country and/or play a friendly match, on the way to Qatar.
On May 30, 2022, during the webinar “FIFA Suspend Israeli Apartheid”
Roger Waters told the Uruguay Team – don’t do it. Don’t train or play any matches in Israel.
Read more HERE.
We wait for more news on whether Uruguay will go to Israel.