The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has launched a campaign to pressure FIFA, the governing body of world football, to take action against the Israeli Football Association for its support of teams based in illegal Israeli settlements.
The UN, Human Rights Watch, parliamentarians, lawyers, campaigners and Palestinians have all urged FIFA to respect international law. They have asked FIFA to respect its own regulations and prevent teams based in illegal settlements from participating in its official leagues.
By failing to take action against the Israeli Football Association for including these illegal settlement-based teams, FIFA is complicit in Israel’s violation of international law, and is allowing Israel to use “the beautiful game” to whitewash its war crimes and forced displacement of Palestinians.
FIFA can and should demand that the Israeli Football Association exclude teams based in illegal settlements, and suspend the association if it refuses to comply.
Tokyo Sexwale, the South African chairman of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine, is about to submit a report to FIFA’s president and council about improving the conditions of Palestinian football. This is an opportunity for us to pressure FIFA to take action.