Palestinian football body urges FIFA to terminate Israel's membership

Palestinian football body urges FIFA to terminate Israel's membership

PFA demands expulsion of Israel Football Association for country’s human rights violations in Gaza Strip

By Burak Dag

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) urged FIFA to expel the Israel Football Association (IFA) from the Zurich-based organization because of that country’s human rights violations in the Gaza Strip.

PFA demanded the termination of the IFA's membership due to their continued inclusion of football teams in the territory of another association, Palestine, in their national league, it said in an application on Thursday.

"All the football infrastructure in Gaza has been either destroyed or seriously damaged, including the historic stadium of Al-Yarmuk, which was turned by the Israeli occupation into a concentration camp, as documented by more than one international organization. Israeli bulldozers dug up the pitch just to destroy it," it said.

PFA claimed Israeli clubs openly block Arabs from joining and harsh violence is meted out solely as a disciplinary offence.

The statement also sheds light on Israeli violence.

"Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, at least 39,178 civilians were killed in Gaza including at least 14,622 children, while 73,300 were injured. 425 people were killed in the West Bank including 113 children. By 11 March 2024, at least 92 footballers, including 23 young juniors, were killed," it said.

The 74th FIFA Conference will be held May 13 - 17 in Bangkok.

*Writing by Selcuk Bugra Gokalp

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