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FIFA to make legal assessment on Israel suspension



FIFA will carry out a legal assessment before it makes a decision on whether to agree to Palestine’s call to suspend the Israeli federation over the war in Gaza.

The Palestinian federation (PFA) called for a vote to exclude Israel at Fifa’s congress in Bangkok on Friday, which was supported in the room by the Jordanian FA.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said it was a matter for the Fifa Council to make a decision on, following a legal assessment.

“How much more must the Palestine football family suffer for Fifa to act with the same severity and urgency as it did in other cases?” PFA president Jibril Rajoub said.

“Does Fifa consider some wars to be more important than others and some victims to be more significant?

“I ask you to stand on the right side of history. The suffering of millions, including thousands of footballers, deserves as much. If not now, then when? Mr President, the ball is in your court.”

The war in Gaza began after a 7 October Hamas attack on Israel, which killed about 1,200 people. More than 252 others were taken hostage.

More than 34,000 people have since been killed by Israel’s offensive in Gaza, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.
Shino Moshe Zuares, the president of the Israel Football Association, said: “We are facing a cynical political and hostile attempt by the Palestinian association to harm Israeli football.
“Seven months after the terrible day, when football matches cannot be played in large parts of Israel, north and south, and over 130 Israelis are still being held in Gaza, it is injustice that even in these circumstances we find ourselves fighting for our basic right to be part of the game.”

Infantino said a legal assessment of the allegations made by the PFA would be undertaken urgently, with the Fifa Council convening an extraordinary congress in late July to address the issue.

“Football should not and should never become a hostage for politics and always remain a vector for peace, a source of hope, a force of good, uniting people rather than dividing,” Infantino said.

“This legal assessment will have to allow for inputs and claims of both member associations. The results of this analysis and the recommendations which will follow from this analysis will subsequently be forwarded to the Fifa Council.”

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