Israel bows to UEFA pressure
Israel has bowed to pressure from UEFA to allow Arab youth football teams into the Palestinian territories, having initially denied them entry, a Jordanian official said yesterday.
Israel's refusal to grant West Bank entry to players and coaching staff delayed the West Asia Football Federation's Under-17's Championship, which was to begin on Thursday.
“WAFF President (Jordan's) Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein and FIFA's vice-president intervened with UEFA to settle this issue,“ WAFF secretary-general Fadi Zureiqat said.
“Israel capitulated (to the pressure) and allowed entry permits for all the teams and officials,“ he said. “The delegations have prepared to set off for the West Bank via the King Hussein crossing (with Jordan).
WAFF will hold a meeting this evening to decide the official programme, following the delay.“ The Palestinian territories and their own team are to host the tournament, welcoming the Iraqi, Jordanian and Emirati under-17's squads.
The Palestinian Football Association's (PFA) director-general said: “the Israeli civil administration informed me they have issued all the permits, and the teams can begin crossing into the West Bank from today.“ The tournament would now start tomorrow, he added.