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FIFA to Conduct Legal Review on Palestine’s Request to Suspend Israel

What you need to know more about

  • The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) called for a vote to exclude Israel at FIFA’s congress in Bangkok on Friday, with support from the Jordanian FA.
  • Infantino emphasized the urgency of the legal assessment, with the FIFA Council planning an extraordinary congress in late July to address the issue.

FIFA will conduct a legal assessment before deciding on Palestine’s request to suspend the Israeli federation due to the war in Gaza.

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) called for a vote to exclude Israel at FIFA’s congress in Bangkok on Friday, with support from the Jordanian FA.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated that the FIFA Council would make the decision following a legal assessment.

“How much more must the Palestinian football community suffer before FIFA acts with the same severity and urgency as in other cases?” asked PFA President Jibril Rajoub. “Does FIFA consider some wars more important and some victims more significant? I urge 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 Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which killed about 1,200 people and took more than 252 hostages. Israel’s subsequent offensive in Gaza has resulted in over 34,000 deaths, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Shino Moshe Zuares, President of the Israel Football Association, responded, “This is a cynical political attempt by the Palestinian association to harm Israeli football.

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Infantino emphasized the urgency of the legal assessment, with the FIFA Council planning an extraordinary congress in late July to address the issue. “Football should always remain a vector for peace, hope, and unity,” Infantino said. “This legal assessment will include inputs from both member associations, and the results will guide the FIFA Council’s decision.”

Regarding the legal threat over the 32-team men’s Club World Cup next summer, Infantino dismissed the concerns raised by the players’ union Fifpro and the World Leagues Association, stating that FIFA organizes only a small fraction of the total matches and the revenues generated support global football development. “FIFA’s revenues benefit 211 countries worldwide, and without these resources, 70% of our member associations would have no football,” Infantino concluded.

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