FIFA to seek legal advice on Palestinian proposal to suspend Israel from international football

FIFA to seek legal advice on Palestinian proposal to suspend Israel from international football
FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino said the body would take independent legal advice following Palestinian FA proposal to suspend Israel from international football.
2 min read
A member of the Palestinian delegation (C) attends the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok on May 17, 2024. [Getty]

FIFA will seek independent legal advice before holding an extraordinary council meeting by July 25 to make a decision on a Palestinian proposal to suspend Israel from international football because of the conflict in war-torn Gaza.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino outlined the plan at the FIFA congress on Friday after representatives of the Palestinian and Israel football federations had a chance to speak in front of the 211 member associations.

"FIFA will mandate as of now, independent legal expertise to analyze the three requests (from the Palestinian FA) and ensure the statutes of FIFA are applied in the right way," Infantino said.

"This legal assessment will have to allow for inputs and claims of both member associations. The results and the recommendations ... will be forwarded to the FIFA council.

"Due to the urgency of the situation, an extraordinary FIFA Council will be convened and will take place before July 25 to review the results of the legal assessment and to take the decisions that are appropriate."

The Palestine Football Association proposal to 211 member federations called for “appropriate sanctions, with immediate effect, against Israeli teams,” according to FIFA documents released a month before the congress and council meetings in Bangkok.

The motion noted "international law violations committed by the Israeli occupation in Palestine, particularly in Gaza" and cited FIFA statutory commitments on human rights and against discrimination.

The Palestinian FA wrote that "all the football infrastructure in Gaza has been either destroyed, or seriously damaged, including the historic stadium of Al-Yarmuk" and said it had support for the motion from the federations of Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Yemen.

Live Story

On Friday at the congress in Bangkok, Palestinian Football Association leader Jibril Rajoub said "the Palestinian people, including the Palestinian football family, are enduring an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe."

Rajoub said he had been threatened because of his sanctions proposal.

"The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs has made serious threats to imprison me if I do not withdraw this proposal, but no power in the world can stand in the way of truth," Rajoub said.